A list of presidential aides approved by President Muhammadu Buhari to work with his government since he came into power on May 29, 2015 is dominated by appointees from Adamawa, Kano, Ogun and Oyo states.
Documents on the distribution of appointments made by the presidency, and obtained by THISDAY show that while Adamawa and Kano States have 12 appointees apiece to top the list, Ogun and Oyo States came second with 11 aides each.
Closely following Ogun and Oyo are nine appointees each from Kaduna, Katsina, Buhari’s home state, and Lagos, the political domain of Senator Bola Tinubu, whose alliance with the president led to the formation of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Plateau and Zamfara States with one political appointee each as presidential aides are bottom of the list.
The documents also detail the distribution of statutory appointments into boards of federal parastatals and special agencies as well as appointments into executive positions therein.
In this category, Ogun takes the lead with 31 appointments either as board members, heads or executive members of these parastatals and special agencies.
Closely following is Edo State, with 30 appointments and it is trailed by Imo State with 29 of its indigenes occupying some of the various positions.
Zamfara and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) with two appointees each occupy the bottom of the list.
Other states with fewer than 10 appointees on the list of appointments into boards of federal parastatals and agencies are Sokoto (six), Ebonyi (seven), Plateau and Enugu (eight) while Bayelsa, Taraba, and Yobe have nine members each.
However, while the documents is showing that the appointments of aides cover the period of the first picks by the president after his inauguration on May 29, 2015, those on boards of federal parastatals and special agencies show appointments made by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Also observed, the list of political aides contains names of some who had left the cabinet.
Among these are ex-Minister of Solid Minerals, Kayode Fayemi, who left the cabinet in June 2018 to contest the governorship election in Ekiti State on APC platform and Kemi Adeosun from Ogun State, who was forced to resign on September 14, 2018, after being accused of forging her NYSC certificate.
Also on this list are Aisha Alhassan, ex-Minister of Women Affairs, who resigned on September 30, 2018, to contest Taraba State governorship, and Ibrahim Usman Jibril who resigned as Minister of State, Environment, to become the Emir of Nasarawa.
Till date, none of these ministers have been replaced; leaving their states without representation in the cabinet.
On the list also is Taiwo Akinwunmi from Oyo State, who designed the Nigerian flag. Ex-president Jonathan had appointed him special assistant to the president for life.
The list obtained ahead of the dissolution of the cabinet as the Buhari administration winds down its first tenure in office and prepares for its second term from May 29, 2019, following Buhari’s victory in the last election, categorised ministers, special advisers, senior special assistants and personal assistants as presidential aides.
Among the aides are those seconded to the office of the vice-president, the office of the chief of staff to the president, the office of the wife of the president, office of the wife of the vice-president and some ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
The list also includes the names of the president and Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.
Of a total of 161 political aides, 88 work with the president, 39 with the vice-president, and 25 were seconded to ministries, the office of the chief of staff and extra-ministerial agencies, among others.
Five of the political aides were deployed to the office of the wife of the president and three to the office of the wife of the vice-president.
A breakdown of the number of political aides working with Buhari, excluding ministers shows that 26 of them, representing about 30 per cent of the appointments, are from Adamawa (6), where his wife hails from, Kaduna (6), where he resides outside his home state, Kano (8), where he has his largest base of supporters and Katsina (6), his home state.
However, apart from ministers, the president has no other political aides from any of the five states in the South-East (Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo) working with him.
Just like the president, Osinbajo drew the bulk of his political aides from his South-west geopolitical zone. Of the 39 aides working directly with him, 24, representing about 62 per cent of the figure, are from the South-west. Appointees from his home state of Ogun (7) and his political base in Lagos (5) top the list.
Other South-west states such as Ekiti, Ondo, Osun and Oyo have three appointees each.
A further breakdown shows that appointees of political aides from Abia are 2, Adamawa (12), Akwa Ibom (5), Anambra(2), Bauchi(4), Bayelsa (1), Borno(4), Cross River (3), Delta (6), Ebonyi(1), Ekiti(7), Enugu (2), Gombe (3), Imo (2), Jigawa (2) Kaduna (9), Kano (12), Katsina (9), Kebbi(1) and Kogi(3).
Others are: Kwara(3), Lagos(9), Nasarawa(1), Niger(3), Ogun(11), Ondo(6), Osun(7), Oyo(11), Plateau(1), Rivers(3), Sokoto(2), Taraba(3), Yobe(3) and Zamfara(1).
Meanwhile, a breakdown of the list of appointments into boards of federal parastatals and special agencies shows that 14 of the appointees are from Abia State, 21 from Adamawa, Akwa Ibom(12), Anambra(20), Bauchi(18), Bayelsa(nine), Benue(17), Borno(21), Cross River(12), Delta(23), Ebonyi(7), Edo(30), Ekiti(12), Enugu(8), FCT(2), Gombe(15), Imo(29), Jigawa (12), Kaduna(16) and Kano(16).
The standing of other states on the list is: Katsina(24), Kebbi(13), Kogi(22), Kwara(21), Lagos(17), Nasarawa(12), Niger(20), Ogun(31), Ondo(17), Osun(12), Oyo(12), Plateau(8), Rivers(13), Sokoto(6), Taraba(nine), Yobe(nine) and Zamfara(seven).
Of the total of 567 appointees in this category, 289 are from the North and 278 from the South.
A further breakdown of data on appointments into boards and heads of parastatals and special agencies shows the North-central leading the pack with 102 appointments, followed by the South-west (101), South-south (99), North-west(94), North-east(93) and South-east (78).
Taken together, the two lists of political aides and board appointments show conscious efforts by the Buhari administration to reward states and zones that gave him higher percentage of votes that put him in office in 2015 than his then main opponent, Jonathan.
Except for the South-south, another PDP stronghold, which with 99 appointees came third on the list of board and other appointments, the South-east remains at the bottom of the list and that of political aides.