7th July, 2011
President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday swore-in his 13 out of the 18 specials advisers whose appointments were announced yesterday. In his short remark at the ceremony, the President said as Special Advisers, the new appointees should even be knowledgeable in the areas in which they have been appointed into than the Ministers. He also said the advisers must be ready to stand up to the great expectations from Nigerians on the current administration.
â€œLet me congratulate all of you that have been brought on board to work with us, you should know that our challenges are quiet enormous and if you having been following the papers you will know that Nigerians expect a lot from usâ€, the President told his new aides.
Those sworn-in include- Mr. Oronto Douglas, Special Adviser to the President on Research and Strategy; Senator Joy Emordi, Special Adviser to the President on National Assembly Matters; Prof. Dan Adebiyi, Special Adviser to the President on Special Duties; Mrs. Sarah Jibril, Special Adviser to the President on Ethics and Values; Mr. Bashir Sufyan, Special Adviser to the President on Legal Matters (Office of the Vice President); Senator Isaiah Ballat, Special Adviser to the President for Special Duties (Office of the Vice President).
Others are- Mr. Kingsley Kuku, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs; Dr. Pius Olakunle Osunyikanmi, Special Adviser to the President on International Relations; Dr. Asmaâ€™u Abdulkadir, Special Adviser to the President on Gender Issues and Dr. Rueben Abati, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.
Also sworn in are Dr. Tunji Olagunju, Special Adviser to the President on NEPAD; Nze Sullivan Akachukwu Nwakpo, Special Adviser to the President on Technical Matters and Mrs. Sarah Akuben Pane, Special Adviser to the President on Social Development.
â€œLet me share with you a joke that a friend told me while I was talking about special advisers and he admonished me by saying ‘Mr. President I hope you will not appoint special advisers that you will advise. So from your citations I am quite sure that I am appointing special advisers that would advise me and not the ones I will advise. So I congratulate you,â€ the President said in a very brief speech at the end of the ceremony.
While speaking to journalists at the end of the ceremony, Reuben Abati, the new Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the President said his major assignment will be to ensure that reporters and editors have access to correct information that will enable them to understand the presidency at all times. He said this will help to put end the culture of reporting the presidency based on assumptions and guess work. â€œThis is a presidency that is committed to the idea of transparency, accountability and collective ownership of major issues at stake. In my view, these will be areas of my engagement,â€ said Abati.
By Oluokun Ayorinde/Abuja