Mr. Ben Akabueze, Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation

Osinbajo didn’t nominate me as DG, Budget Office ─Ben Akabueze

*Ben Akabueze, Director-General of Budget Office of the Federation, says Farooq Kperogi’s article on Nigerian Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo is full of inaccuracies

Etim Etim

Mr. Ben Akabueze, Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, has stated that Farooq Kperogi’s recent article in which he alleged that Nigerian Vice-President (Prof.) Yemi Osinbajo favours mostly members of the Redeemeed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in his appointments ”is full of inaccuracies’.

Akabueze said the Atlanta-based university teacher in the United States (US) is just out ”to paint Osinbajo in bad light.”

Responding to inquiries on Kperogi’s controversial and ill-motivated article, Akabueze stated that the VP was not even the one who nominated him as the Director-General of the Budget Office, contrary to Kperogi’s claims.

In 2016, then Minister of National Planning, Budget and Finance, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma had told me that he was the one who sought out Akabueze and nominated him as the DG Budget because of his expertise and experience.

Senator Udoma has reconfirmed this account to this writer.

Akabueze had also been the Managing Director and Chief Executive of NAL Merchant Bank (1996 – 2005) and later, Commissioner for Budget and National Planning, in Lagos (2006 – 2015).

For the sake of transparency and openness, I should state that Akabueze did hire me in NAL as the Head of Corporate Communications December 2000.

Akabueze said: ”I am too busy to get involved in rejoinders, but I cannot let Kperogi get away with his falsehood,” adding, ”it is evident that Kperogi was simply handed a script to which he attached his name and some of his flowery language by which he masquerades as an academic.”

The Director-General of Budget Officer noted that the VP was not also instrumental in Okechukwu Enelamah’s appointment as Minister in 2015.

I had made this same point in my article last week titled ”Why they are moving against Osinbajo”.

In it, I wrote that Enelamah was nominated as Minister by the Obi of Onitsha at the request of the late Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari.

This, I know for a fact.

Buttressing his point that the VP  was not responsible for the appointments of many of the people Kperogi mentioned in his article, Akabueze further told me that Prof. Osinbajo was not ”even given the privilege of nominating the Minister from his own home state.

“That privilege went to Senator Amosun in 2015 and again in 2019.”

Akabueze further clarified that ”Kperogi’s so-called list of the 80 people who work in PYO’s office is grossly outdated, as about half of them are no longer there while some of those who currently work there are not on the list.

“Jumoke Oduwole is not a member of the RCCG as Kperogi claims. Afolabi Imoukhuede is not a member of RCCG.”

He further said: “Kperogi’s attempt to trivialise the appointments of Ben Akabueze, Alex Okoh and Kayode Pitan, all of who have been reappointed for second terms in their positions by President Buhari on account of their stellar performance, is regrettable.”.

He also noted: ”It is also noteworthy that each of these three gentlemen  had served as MD/CEOs of Nigerian banks for over 10 years before PYO became VP in 2015.

“Kperogi has unwittingly diminished the credibility of his allegations with the powers that be who made these appointments, and who know exactly how they happened. These are the same people Kperogi is targeting in his attempt to paint Osinbajo in bad light.”

Akabueze added: “It is evident that Kperogi was simply handed a script to which he attached his name and some of his flowery language by which he masquerades as an academic, but is sadly just another ‘brown envelope’ motivated columnist.”

Farooq Kperogi had written an article two weeks ago in which he falsely claimed that many of the staffers in the VP’s Office are members of RCCG.

Many people, including veteran  journalists like Ms. Donu Kog Arab have condemned the piece as a hatchet job meant to ridicule the VP.

With this rebuttal from Mr. Ben Akabueze, it is obvious that Kperogi’s agenda is less than noble.

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