– Anna says she was surprised like everyone else to see her dead husband's name on the list of appointments
– She blames President Buhari's staff and not him for failing to properly vet the selection process before publishing the list
– Some lawyers also expressed disappointment at the errors which they described as unfortunate
Anna Okpozo, the wife of Francis Okpozo, one of the dead appointees on President Muhammadu Buhari’s list of fresh board appointments, has blamed those who published the list for not vetting it properly.
In an interview with Vanguard, Okpozo said she was surprised like all Nigerians to see her late husband’s name on the list.
She however absolved President Buhari of blame, noting that he had a lot to do and his staff who published the list should have done a better job of vetting it.
She admitted that she had not expected the error because her husband was quite close to the president and he (Buhari) sent a condolence message when her husband died.
READ ALSO: 15 die in fatal road crash in Jigawa
She said: “During the president’s inauguration, my husband was there. When he fell sick and eventually died, we did not hear anything, though the president too was fighting for his life. As the head, he (Buhari) sent a condolence message.
“So, this appointment is giving me some thoughts on whether it was not the president that sent the condolence message. If he was the one that sent the message and was aware that his (late Okpozo) name was on the list, he (Buhari) would have corrected it.
“I am not picking any offence at all because as a president, he cannot know everything about everybody in the whole country. Maybe he had delegated the thing (selection) to some people to do and they did not consult but just published it.”
Meanwhile, according to The Punch, the list has continued to generate outrage among Nigerians across different spheres.
It quoted a Senior Advocate of Nigeria Yusuf Ali as saying that things should have been done better.
“The constitution of the boards has been long overdue. This government came to power about two and a half years ago. The discovery shows that the list was compiled a long time ago and due diligence was not done before it was released,” Ali said.
Second vice president of the Nigerian Bar Association Monday Ubani described the error as unfortunate.
PAY ATTENTION: Install our latest app for Android and read best news on Nigeria’s #1 news app
He said: “It is unfortunate that the President delayed in doing most of the things he was supposed to do; and those things have come to haunt him.
“It is obvious that the dead people were appointed after they died. It does not speak well of any serious government that dead people are appointed into public offices.
“Had it been that they were appointed as of the time their names were submitted, this embarrassment would not have happened.”
NAIJ.com had reported that the presidency on Saturday, December 30, reacted to the controversy generated by its appointment of 1,468 Nigerians into the boards of agencies and parastatals.
According to Garba Shehu, a spokesman of the president, speaking to Premium Times, he said there was nothing scandalous about the list.
He said: “the list has a history” which explains the controversy around it. In 2015, Mr. President requested all state chapters of the party to submit names of 50 party members for board appointments.”
Shehu added that the names where compiled by the national secretariat of the APC and forwarded to the the former secretary to the government of the federation, Babachir Lawal.
Rotimi Amaechi gives a summary of the Buhari Administration – on NAIJ.com TV