PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu has made the first major appointments of his administration, naming Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila as his Chief of Staff.
A former governor of Benue State George Akume was equally named as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).
The appointments were announced in a statement issued by the State House Director of Information on Friday, June 2.
“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Friday in Abuja announced the appointment of Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff, and Sen. Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as Deputy Chief of Staff.
“In a meeting with Progressives Governors Forum (PGF), the President also named former Governor of Benue State and immediate past Minister of Special Duties, George Akume, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF),” the statement read.
Gbajabiamila was re-elected to represent the Surulere 2 Federal Constituency of Lagos at the House of Representatives in the February 25 National Assembly elections.
He was born in Lagos on June 25, 1962, and attended Igbobi College in Yaba.
Gbajabiamila studied law at the University of Lagos, and after graduating from law school, moved to the United States to attend Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School, where he earned a doctorate degree in 1990.
He began his career as a lawyer and served as a prosecutor and Defence Attorney for the Lagos State Ministry of Justice.
Subsequently, he was elected into the House of Representatives in 2003 and became the Speaker in 2019.
The announcement of the appointment has finally put to rest speculations that Gbajabiamila was favoured to emerge as Tinubu’s Chief of Staff.
On Thursday, June 1, it was reported that he was appointed at a meeting with security chiefs at the State House in Abuja.
Also on Thursday, a spokesperson of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Committee, Femi Fani-Kayode, congratulated Gbajabiamila on his Twitter page.
However, when journalists approached him for comments on the rumoured appointment on Thursday, Gbajabiamila neither confirmed nor denied the information.
Rather, he urged Nigerians to be patient about the announcement.
“Let the system follow its course,” he said.
After two terms as Benue governor from 1999 to 2007, Akume served in the National Assembly as a senator between 2007 and 2019.
He was the Minority Leader of the Senate from June 2011 to June 2015.
The immediate past Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs was born on December 27, 1953, in Mkar, Benue State.
He earned a Bachelors of Arts (BA) degree in History and a Masters of Arts (MA) degree in Political Science from the University of Ibadan.
His political career began in 1983 when he was elected into the Benue State House of Assembly, where he served for two years before the military government of General Muhammadu Buhari dissolved all elected state governments.
Akume became governor of Benue state in 1999 and served till 2007, when he was elected into the Senate.
He was part of the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, where he served as Minister of Special Duties and Inter-governmental Affairs.
Tinubu, on Friday, also appointed Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia as Deputy Chief of Staff.
Hadejia served for one term in Jigawa State as the Deputy-Governor between 2015 and 2019. He was elected into the Senate to represent Jigawa North-East in 2019.