By Daniel Edu
President Bola Tinubu’s decision to appoint Femi Gbajabiamila as his Chief of Staff (CoS) is rooted in a desire to avoid a repetition of Nigeria’s experiences during the first term of former President Muhammadu Buhari, when the late Abba Kyari served as CoS, according to sources cited by Daily Sun.
A source within the Presidency explained that President Tinubu was acutely aware of the intricacies of Nigerian politics, particularly after Kyari’s influential tenure in the same position. Tinubu, known for his decisiveness and meticulous consideration of key appointments, was determined to select a CoS with specific qualities, experience, and a proven track record, which were non-negotiable criteria. His intention was to enter the presidency with a Chief of Staff who had already mastered the art of supporting a president in running a nation.
The source emphasized that the selection of Gbajabiamila, the former Speaker of the House of Representatives from 2019 to 2023, along with other principal officers of the administration and cabinet members, followed a rigorous process to identify individuals with a unique blend of qualities necessary to navigate the complexities of Nigerian politics successfully.
Furthermore, the source highlighted Gbajabiamila’s exceptional performance during his tenure as Speaker of the House of Representatives. His ability to manage various national challenges, including handling national strikes and negotiating with unions, set him apart from other contenders for the role. None of the other candidates came close to matching the nation-building experience Gbajabiamila had gained as the fourth-ranking official in the country.
The decision to appoint Gbajabiamila gained momentum after the removal of the fuel subsidy, which initially raised concerns about national stability. President Tinubu needed a Chief of Staff who could maintain calm and peace during this challenging period while remaining loyal and supportive.
The source also noted two additional factors that influenced Gbajabiamila’s selection: his strong work ethic and his ability to utilize government resources to benefit the people. Gbajabiamila’s dedication and hard work during the campaign, as well as his role in the successful passage of the Students Loan Bill, which garnered widespread support, impressed President Tinubu.
The careful and meticulous process behind President Tinubu’s Chief of Staff selection underscores his commitment to providing effective leadership for Nigeria. His vision for a strong, competent, and experienced Chief of Staff reflects his determination to navigate the complex political landscape and address the nation’s pressing challenges.
The source described President Tinubu as a visionary leader who understands the importance of the Chief of Staff role in his administration. He emphasized that Gbajabiamila and other key officials in the administration were chosen based on a thorough evaluation of their unique qualities to successfully navigate Nigeria’s political complexities.
President Tinubu’s reputation for selecting capable individuals for key positions, from vice presidents to governors, ministers, and legislative leaders, highlights his deep understanding of Nigeria’s political landscape and his commitment to effective governance.