Reports by Yemi Adebowale, Kayode Sesan
The scramble for special assistant and personal assistant jobs to Senators, Governors and Ministers under the incoming APC government has begun in earnest. Much as the older generation politicians have engaged in intense lobby for appointments under Buhari’s government, the younger generation is not left out.
BREAKING TIMES investigations reveal that a clique of young Nigerian supporters of the Buhari/Osinbanjo campaign in the social media have constituted a bloc with the singular aim of ensuring those who worked for the campaign are appointed as SAs or PAs to the incoming Ministers, Senators, Governors, the Vice President and even the President, Muhammadu Buhari.
According to an influential youth activist who campaigned vigorously for Buhari on Twitter and would rather remain anonymous, top on this list of lobbyists are Japheth Omojuwa – an online activist who called President Jonathan a pig; Feyi Fawehinmi – a banker in the United Kingdom who once openly wrote an article abusing respected media icon and Thisday backpage columnist, Bashorun Dele Momodu; Abang Mercy – a journalist turned political consultant; Banks Omishore, currently Special Assistant on Media to Senator Bukola Saraki; Elnathan John, a lawyer and blogger who struggled to sit on the fence while campaigning for the Buhari online and Chude Jideonwo, a former loyalist of President Jonathan and owner of StateCraft – the company that got the contract to manage Buhari’s social media.
Others include, Chinedu Ekeke, Publisher of Ekekeee.com; Gbenga Olorunpomi – a loyalist to APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu and Kayode Ogundamisi, a self-confessed radical who is by far the oldest amongst the lobbyists.
From our investigations, the emphasis of youth involvement in governance has pitched the ‘Omojuwa-Chude’ wing of Buhari’s social media supporters comprising youths in their early thirties against the ‘Ogundamisi-Rosanwo’ axis of much older online activists. These younger activists who feel threatened by the older generation of social media activists like Kayode Ogundamisi, Babatunde Rosanwo and Egghead Odewale are inching closer to clinching the appointments using their contacts with their mentors some of who played key roles in Buhari’s election.
It will be recalled that Reno Omokri, the outgoing Special Assistant on New Media to President Jonathan came under intense and regular attacks from some of the names mentioned above, a situation many have attributed to envy for Omokri’s job. “Buhari’s victory at the polls may have finally opened the door for the dreams of some of these online activists to be realized”, a source hinted.
However, a source close to Buhari disclosed to BREAKING TIMES that as part of Buhari’s agenda to cut government waste and run a lean government, the position of Special Assistant to the President on New Media is one that the incoming President intends to scrap. This is because the existing office of Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity currently overseen by Reuben Abati, covers new media.
Close observers who spoke to BREAKING TIMES on Tuesday expressed concerns over the ongoing intense lobby by APC youths noting that some of the names mentioned may start an online war against Buhari’s government if they were not “settled”.
“You will soon find a situation where if some of them do not get these SA and PA jobs, the story will change and they will start criticizing Buhari just to remain relevant. But sadly, the truth is that not everyone can become SAs or PAs to Governors, Ministers or the President. You must be sound and competent. Of course there are a few professionals like Tolu Ogunlesi, Chioma Chuka, Kola Oyeneyin and Gbenga Sesan who can really do the job of special assistants and the politicians that require these services know how to get them”, the source said.
In a similar perspective, another social commentator who spoke to BREAKING TIMES anonymously was quick to note: “The fact that you can tweet and insult doesn’t make you intelligent enough to be given an appointment or be made an SA. They don’t know that once politicians win elections, that is when they sift goats from sheep. The goats they settle with little cash on a frequent basis. The sheep are those they now bring closer to work with them and atimes are given all the workload to make the principal look good and competent.”