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Nigeria: Who Signs Executive Orders, The President or His Chief Of Staff?

Nigeria: Who Signs Executive Orders, The President or His Chief Of Staff? Alhaji Abba Kyari In every nation globally, there exists a p...

Nigeria: Who Signs Executive Orders, The President or His Chief Of Staff?
Alhaji Abba Kyari

In every nation globally, there exists a personality that is at the helm of affairs governmentally and that imdividual is commonly referred to as a President, Prime Minister, Emperor, etcetera. He/she, according to needs, appoints a chief of staff as the case may be who is saddled with very defined but limited functions. In Nigeria however, the government in power as presently constituted, allows virtually anything, no matter how unconstitutional. The office of a chief of staff is not specifically recognized by the Nigerian Public Service Rules nor the Constitution. It is more of a personal assistant/staff of the President.

It is necessary at this point to lay bare, the dictionary definition of this office. Wikipedia explains: "The title of a chief of staff, identifies the leader of a complex organization such as the armed forces, institutions or a body of persons. It also could be defined as a principal staff officer (PSO), which is the coordinator of the supporting staff or better still, a primary aide-de-camp, to an important personality such as a President, a senior military officer or a leader of a large organization.

Generally, a chief of staff provides a buffer between a chief executive and that executive's direct-reporting team. The chief of staff works behind the scene (seen), to proffer solutions to problems, mediates on disputes and deals with issues before such are brought to the table of the chief executive. Often, a chief of staff acts as a confidant and adviser to his/her principal. Ultimately, his exact duty depends solely on the position and the people involved.

This portfolio was first borrowed from the United States of America and introduced to the Nigerian system by the erstwhile Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in 1999. This was never very significant because it's functions were entirely operational outside the office of the President. The chief of staff essentially, should relate relevant information from the people to the President and not the opposite. Such an officer does not have the constitutional authority to sign an order or issue any instruction/official statement on behalf of the President.

In view of the above therefore, what presently obtains in Nigeria is an anathema. It is unacceptable and democratically unethical. Alhaji Abba Kyari who occupies that office in Nigeria has brazenly and unconstitutionally assumed the position of the President, dishing out instructions and signing executive orders. These activities of his, have remained puzzles begging for explanation. The development has evoked provocations, making close watchers to bemoan the disturbing silence of the so-called educated/enlightened who stand aloof, sheepishly mopping. This is 21st century and this act of bizarre impunity must have to be looked into conditionally.

 Written by Ogah C.S. Maduabuchi

Edited by Peter Oshagwu
For Family Writers Press International

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