President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has further expanded his cabinet as he appointed Senator George Akume, a former Minister of Special Duties and former Benue state governor as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, Senator Ibrahim Hadejia, as the deputy chief of staff. This development
President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has further expanded his cabinet as he appointed Senator George Akume, a former Minister of Special Duties and former Benue state governor as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, Senator Ibrahim Hadejia, as the deputy chief of staff.
This development came 24 hours after the outgoing Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Femi Gbajabiamila, confirmed his appointment as the President’s chief of staff.
A statement issued by Abiodun Oladunjoye, Director, Information State House on Friday after the president’s meeting with the Progressive Governors disclosed that Senator George Akume is the new Secretary to the Government of the federation, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila is the Chief of Staff to the President and Senator Ibrahim Hadejia is the deputy chief of staff.
In a show of appreciation for his appointment, Hon Gbajabiamila wrote on his Twitter handle: “Thank you Mr. President @officialABAT for finding me worthy of being your Chief of Staff.
“Having spent the last 20 years in the Nigerian Parliament, and after winning my 6th term election into the National Assembly, I shall work with Mr President in discharging the enormous task ahead of him for the peace and progress of the federal republic of Nigeria.
“I shall give my best when I take office on June 14 2023 as reflected in Mr. President’s official letter”.
Akume’s appointment will pacify the North Central zone who have argued to have contributed significantly to the victory of President Bola Tinubu. It may also weaken the campaign that one of the arms of the National Assembly should be led by someone from the North Central zone. It will also calm the nerves of advocates of a Christian holding a topmost position in government. Both the President, his Vice and the Chief of staff to the President are Muslims.
Senator Akume, who was born on December 27th, 1953, in the Wannune Tarka Council Area of Benue State, completed his primary education there from 1960 to 1969 before continuing his secondary education at the Model Science School Otukpo (formerly the Government Secondary School Otobi) in Benue from 1967 to 1971.
He subsequently attended St. Louis College for his Advanced level education in 1972. After that, he was accepted into the University of Ibadan, the Premier University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology in 1978. He also obtained his Master’s Degree in industrial and Labour Relations (MILR) from the same department and university in 1986
He later attended the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) for his management certificate in 1988. Before his political journey, Akume was a successful civil servant in the Benue state civil service, rising to the topmost position of the Permanent Secretary in the state.
In 1999, upon the return of democracy, George Akume contested for the state governorship position, winning under the umbrella of the People’s Democratic Party, he was also reelected in 2003.
After two terms as governor, Akume was elected senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, representing Benue West Senatorial District, in 2007. In 2011, he became the minority leader of the Senate and the chairman of the Senate committee on the Army in the Red Chamber.
On August 21, 2019, the former president, Muhammadu Buhari, appointed him as the minister for special duties and intergovernmental affairs after he lost his bid for the Senate in 2019.
As a man with an ocean of experience both in the civil service and Nigerian politics, Senator George Akume is expected to manage and coordinate the implementation of government policies for the next four years.
Senator Ibrahim Hadejia, the named deputy chief of staff, served as Jigawa state’s deputy governor and he’s an outgoing Senator, representing the state’s North East Senatorial district.
Hadejia was born in 1965 into the family of Alhaji Hassan Hadejia. He attended Sacred Heart Primary School for his primary education before proceeding to Barewa College Zaria for his secondary education. He went to the School of Basic Studies at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, for IJMB before gaining admission to the university to study law in 1983.
Senator Hadeija obtained his law degree in 1986 before heading to Lagos Law School for his BL qualification, he was subsequently called to the bar in 1986. Hadeija also enrolled at Oxford University to obtain a diploma in computing.
After his education, Hadeija began his career as an in-house counsel for international credit and finance, he also worked in the administrative and banking operation for a few years before his appointment as the Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice in Jigawa state in 1999. He was later promoted to the position of secretary in 2001.
In 2003, Hadeija became the Jigawa state deputy governor, a position he occupied till 2007. He also returned as the state deputy governor from 2015 to 2018. As a founding member of the All Progressives Congress, he contested and won the seat of the senate in 2014, a position he currently holds.
Senator Hadeija is expected to work with the Chief of Staff, Femi Gbajabiamila to ensure the smooth running of the administration