STAR INFORMATION: The Unfolding Staff of Yar`Adua`s Presidential Office

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August 14, 2007

S/N Positions Name Comment
1 NNPC Group Managing Director  (Acting) Replaces Funso Kupolokun
2 Economic Adviser to President Dr. Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi Most recently

Deputy Chief of Staff

3 Special Adviser on Petroleum Dr. Emmanuel O. Egbogah
4 Director-General, Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Mrs. Irene Chigbue Retained
5 National Coordinator of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP). Dr. Magnus Kpakol Retained
6 Director-General, State Security Service (SSS) Mr. Afakirya Gadzama Replaces Kayode Are
7 Director-General, National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Mr. Emmanuel Enarune Imohe Most recently of Washington DC



(As of August 2, 2007)

Special Advisers to the President (SAP)
1 Energy and Strategic Matters Rilwanu Lukman Honorary
2 Legal Matters Dr . Wale Babalakin (SAN). Honorary
3 Communications Mr.  Olusegun Adeniyi Full-time
4 Electric Power Engr. Joseph Makoju Full-time
5 National Assembly Senator Florence Ita-Giwa Full-time
6 NEPAD Dr. Tunji Olagunju Full-time
Senior Special Assistants to President (SSAP)
1 Power Reform Engr. FA Shomolu
2 C-in-C – Secretarial and Speech Writer Mr Mathew Aikionbare
3 Aviation Captain Shehu Iyal
4 Protocol Alhaji Inua Baba
5 Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) Usaini Bitrus Haruna
6 Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) Baba Mohammed
7 Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) Tunde Edorhe
8 Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) Ismaila Dahiru Waziri
Senior Special Assistant to the Vice-President
9 Media Ima Niboro
Senior Special Assistants to the Chief of Staff
10 Economics Deaconnes JO Ayo
11 Politics Gbolade Osinowo
12 Projects Monitoring Gloria Iweka
Other Appointments
1 Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) to the President Dr. Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi
2 DCOSto the Vice President Chief Mike Oghiadomhe
Prior Major Appointments
1 Secretary to the Federal Government (SFG) Alhaji Baba Gana Kingibe
2 Chief of Staff (COS) to the President Maj Gen Abdullahi Mohammed
3 National Security Adviser (NSA) Major-General Abdullahi Sarki Muktar
4 Head of Service of the Federation (HOSF) Mrs. Ebele O. Okeke
5 Ag. Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) Alhaji Salihu Alhassan
6 Managing Director, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN). Mrs Oluremi Oyo
7 Acting Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Mike Okiro


As Yar’Adua Becomes Acting NNPC GMD… Gadzama In, Chigbue Survives
•Kupolokun’s removal confirmed

By Yemi Adebowale in Lagos and Josephine Lohor in Abuja, 08.11.2007

Speculations about the removal of Mrs Irene Chigbue as Director-General of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) had dominated discussions in the past few days. And she would indeed have been dropped yesterday as part of the ongoing efforts by President Umaru Yar’Adua to strengthen his administration. But a last minute change of mind in the Presidency changed all that.

Chigbue may have survived due to last minute change of heart in the Presidency which may not be unconnected with intense lobbying carried out on her behalf.

“The President decided that it would be better to retain Chigbue at least for now until a wider consultation on her possible replacement or otherwise is made,” a source said.

The Special Adviser to the President on Communi-cations, Olusegun Adeniyi, who spoke yesterday on the retention of Chigbue simply said, “as at now, the Director-General of the BPE still remains Mrs. Chigbue. All that you have been reading are speculations. Until there is confirmation, it remains speculation.”

However, the Presidency yesterday confirmed the removal of the incumbent Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Engineer Funso Kupolokun, and announced the appointment of Dr. Tanimu  Yakubu Kurfi – formerly Deputy Chief of Staff to the President – as Chief Economic Adviser to the President.

Adeniyi said Yar’Adua had directed Kupolokun, to handover the management of the corporation to its most senior Group Executive Director, Abubakar Lawal Yar’Adua. He emphasised that the new acting GMD of NNPC (Yar’Adua) was not a relation of the President “but it so happens that they come from the same state.”

The President has also approved the appointment of Emmanuel O. Egbogah, as his Special Adviser on Petroleum.

Egbogah is to work with Alhaji Rilwan Lukman, who has already been appointed honorary Adviser to the President on Petroleum.

The Presidential spokes-person added: “one thing that I want to add here is that the President wants to restructure the oil sector completely and that is the reason for these appointments. Egbogah is a petroleum engineer who helped to restructure the Malaysian  Oil  Company.”

Yar’Adua joined the NNPC in 1977 and has been its Group Executive Director (Refineries & Petrochemicals) since 2003. He will act as GMD until further notice.

The Special Adviser to the President on Communi-cations said the President also approved the appointment of Mr. Afakirya A. Gadzama as the Director-General, State Security Service (SSS) and Mr. Emmanuel E. Imohe as the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).  Gadzama who, sources say, was once tipped to replace Mallam Nuhu Ribadu as chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commis-sion (EFCC) takes over from Mr. Kayode Are. The incumbent National Co-ordinator of the National Poverty Eradication Programme (NAPEP, Dr. Magnus Kpakol, retained his position.

Kupolokun was appointed in 2003 to replace Jackson Gaius-Obaseki, while Chi-gbue took over from Dr. Julius Bala in March 2005. The position of the GMD of NNPC is perceived to be a political one. Kupolokun had been rumoured to be on his way out since Obasanjo’s tenure ended on May 29, 2007. But he remained in office in spite of the speculations.

For Chigbue, her role in the transactions sealed at the twilight of the administration of Obasanjo – believed to be fraught with anomalies – was said to have affected her image in the presidency. The sales were believed not to have gone through the due process, a mantra of the privatisation process.

The sale of major state enterprises was hurriedly concluded by the last administration to the extent that transactions involving about 30 Nigeria’s most prized assets were sealed in one day (May 17, 2007). The enterprises included Port Harcourt Refinery, Kaguna refinery, Ajaokuta Steel complex, Egbin Thermal Power Plant, Onigbolo Cement Company, National Arts Theatre, Tafawa Balewa, LPG depots and solid mineral sites across the country, amongst others.

This Day (Lagos )

2 August 2007 Posted to the web 2 August 2007

Josephine Lohor

The two honourary advisers include the former Presidential Adviser on Petroleum, Dr Rilwanu Lukman (Honourary Adviser on Energy and Strategic Matters) and Dr Wale Babalakin (SAN). The list of the 13 SSAs include Engr. FA Shomolu (SSAP, Power Reform), Mr Mathew Aikionbare (SSAP – C-in-C – Secretarial and Speech Writer), Captain Shehu Iyal (SSAP, Aviation) and Alhaji Inua Baba (SSAP – Protocol).

Other appointments include that of the former Deputy Governor of Edo State , Chief Mike Oghiadomhe, who is the Deputy Chief of Staff (DCOS) to the Vice President. Chief Oghiadomhe is to work with Maj Gen Abdullahi Mohammed (Chief of Staff) and Mr Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi, the DCOS to the President.


JIMADA-THANI 27 , 1428 A.H.


According to a release issued from the Office of the Special Adviser to the President, (Communications) signed by Olusegun Adeniyi, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa has been appointed as Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters while Dr. Tanimu Yakubu Kurfi is now the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President and Commander-in-Chief.

Alhaji Babagana Kingibe, a career diplomat, who rose to prominence in 1993 as running-mate to the late Chief M.K.O . Abiola in the annulled presidential election of that year, replaced Chief Ufot Ekaette.

Also appointed Executive Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA), is Alhaji Salihu Alhassan who now oversees the affairs at the FCTA until the reconstitution of the Federal Executive Council.

Moreover, the president announced the retention of the Chief of Staff to the former president, Major-General Abdullahi Muhammad as well as the National Security Adviser, Major-General Abdullahi Sarki Muktar in their positions.

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One Response to “STAR INFORMATION: The Unfolding Staff of Yar`Adua`s Presidential Office”

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