Tinubu's Chief of Staff and the search for competence-By Jackson Lekan Ojo

Making a deeper allusion to the Nigeria's political history, from the beginning of this fourth republic in 1999, one can convincingly infer that the role played by the President -elect and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu can never be over-emphasized, in terms of political conceptualization and progressive ideology, including frontline pattern of administration. 

 While his impacts in civil administration cut across many areas of governance, I will limit my discussion on his brainchild, which swiftly became the model adopted by all, including the presidency. That is the concept of 'Chief of Staff'. 

While I don't want to bother myself on his thinking at that time that resulted into that kind of idea or where he had learnt that instrument of administration, I want to clearly state here that it was a brilliant initiative brought to bear in civil administration, it was indeed a game changer as far as democratic process of governance is concerned in Nigeria. 

Conversely, as the nation warms up for the transition into another administration that will be piloted by the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the progenitor of the office of Chief of Staff, many as wondered who fits into that shoe of herculean administrative task at that level of government and governance. 

Beyond array of narratives from different quarters on who occupies the exalted position in the new administration, I consider it imperative to first dissect the requisite qualifications that make a good Chief of Staff to the Nigerian President. 

Because of the heterogeneous nature of our country, a Chief of Staff to the President must be a detribalised Nigerian with satisfactory exposure and liberal posture. He must be approachable , calm, tolerant and diplomatic, with cordial relationship among people across the country. To say it all, the person must be a Populist. 

Meanwhile, several names have been flying around in the media space, among those names, three of it continued to appear prominently in the narratives, namely: Former Governor of Lagos and incumbent Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbjabiamila and a member of the House of Representatives from Lagos, who hails from Kogi in the North Central Geo-political zone, Hon. James Falake, he held sway as the Secretary of the APC's Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) for the 2023 election. 

Engaging in a thorough evaluation of the three personalities in tandem with various attributes of a good Chief of Staff has analysed above, only one person clearly fits in to that office without blemish, and that is Hon. James Falake from Kogi State, a very clear-headed personality, brilliant, friendly, gentle, cool and calm at all times. 

He is the only one among the three that will not make more enemies for the President in the course of discharging his duties, he knows his onus when it comes to administration and diplomacy, as his door is always open to everybody irrespective of status and language. 

The level of maturity Faleke displayed in Kogi when he was robbed of becoming the Governor of the State in broad daylight and his subsequent commitment to the ideals of progressive politics and development of humanity is profoundly enviable, we need such a character at the presidency for inclusive governance, purposeful leadership and even development. 

I, hereby, urge the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, to consider Hon. James Falake, as the man to occupy the position of the Chief of Staff in his administration. 

Jackson Lekan Ojo, a Chieftain of APC and leading security expert writes from Abuja.


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