There are strong indications that President Muhammadu Buhari has begun the search for possible replacement of the incumbent Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal.
We recalls that the Nigerian Senate had called for Babachir’s resignation and prosecution after a committee setup by the upper house found that the SGF had grossly abused his office.
The Senate accused Babachir of being one of the beneficiaries of the N2.5billion phantom contracts – or ones not executed at all, awarded by the Presidential Initiative on North East (PINE).
The SGF, through his company Rholavision Engineering Ltd, allegedly swindled the Federal Government out of N200 million in a bid to clear grasses ‘invasive plant species’ in Yobe State.
Several quarters of the media reported that the Presidency had commenced investigations into the alleged fraud.
A source in the Presidency told Daily Post, on Wednesday, that President Buhari had already commenced the search for a new SGF.
The source further disclosed that the anticipated shakeup in President Buhari’s cabinet may see the current Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, take up the SGF position.
“Ogbeh was considered just after the APC won the presidency. He is a chieftain of the party that worked hard to help the president win, APC also won governorship in his state,” the source said.
“He was a former deputy speaker and former Minister; both elective and appointment based positions. Thus, that he has the requisite experience is not in doubt.
“Being one of the top Northern leaders who formed APC and has friends across the country, the belief then was that the president would give him the seat.
“Eventually, Lawal was brought, perhaps because he is not a core politician like Ogbeh and others.
“Having said this, if Ogbeh doesn’t become the next SGF, I understand the president is seriously considering top technocrats.
“However, such persons can be retired or top serving seasoned public officers who must have worked in the Federal service.
“President Buhari has asked security agencies to carry out discreet profiling of some. The DSS of course is on this.”
“It won’t be sudden but it will happen. I do not think the president will overlook some of Lawal’s actions which have been piling.
“One of such was his private abroad trip which sent tongues wagging. The SGF was discovered to have collected money to cover his expenses as if it were an official trip.
“This and other allegations, I believe are distracting him lately. The office of the SGF is too sensitive and it is most likely the president will deal with the situation once and for all in a matter of weeks.”