Information filtering in indicates a desperate move by President Muhammadu Buhari’s chief of staff (CoS), Professor Ibrahim Gambari and Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, to replace Ali Silas Agara, a Christian nominated to take over as chairman of National Population Commission (NPC), with a Muslim, Alh. Nasiru Isa, from Kano State.
Agara, who hails from Nasarawa State, was nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari to head the NPC.
Buhari, in two letters dated March 20 and August 12, 2020, made the nomination, but Mr Kura Isa, a Muslim from Kano State, is being prepared to replace Agara.
“The positions to which appointments are to be made include the office of the chairman from Nasarawa State, four new commissioners representing Sokoto, Kwara, Bauchi and the FCT, as well as the renewal of the appointment of two commissioners from Katsina and Lagos States,” the letter by the president reads partly.
However, since the first letter by President Buhari dated March 20, 2020, Agara is yet to be inaugurated as chairman of NPC due to moves by some persons not contented with his nomination, being a Christian.
It was also revealed that the name of Isa has been submitted to lead the commission.
“There is a plan to replace Agara with a Muslim, Nasiru Isa from Kano.
“Governor of Nassarawa and chief of staff allegedly told Buhari not to hand over NPC to a Christian,” the source said.
The letter by the president also contained names of individuals, who will serve as members of the commission for five years as stipulated by federal character.
Others recommended alongside Agara are Muhammed Chuso A. Dottijo, member from Sokoto; Alhaji Razaq Gidado, member from Kwara; Ibrahim Mohammed, member from Bauchi; Joseph Kwai Shazin, member from FCT; Engineer Bala Almu Banya, member from Katsina; and Mrs Bimbola Salu-Hundeyin, member from Lagos.
But in a statement to THE WITNESS, Ibrahim Addra, chief press secretary to Governor Sule however, denied the allegations, stressing that the president has the sole right to make such appointment.
According to him: “For the avoidance of doubt, there is absolutely no iota of truth in these claims and as such we condemn the piece in its entirety.
“We are equally appalled by the religious slant being introduced at a time all well meaning citizens are working to build bridges across divides, especially in Nasarawa State.
“Matters of appointment of individuals into positions such as the one in question are the preserve of President Muhammadu Buhari, so to suggest pressure from Governor Abdullahi Sule in that respect or an alleged plan is laughable.
“Governor Sule’s antecedents, predisposition, exposure and world view do not cast him in the mould of a bigot that is being speculated. The recent appointment of Mr. Henry Omaku a Christian, as ambassador representing the state negates the impression that the story seeks to create.
“Those who know Engr. Sule or have interacted with him would be having a good laugh at this misadventure.
“This allegation is a desperate attempt to distract Engr. Abdullahi Sule from delivering on his promises to the people of Nasarawa State.
“Such attempts shall fail,” he concluded.