Alhaji Isa Funtua, a close ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, has given reason he cannot replace the late Abba Kyari as the president’s Chief of Staff.
Funtua, while reacting to reports that he was likely a replacement for the Office of the Chief of Staff, said it is an insult to his personality.
Speaking to BBC Hausa, the elder statesman said he should be employing people and not struggling for government appointments.
The politician maintained that appointments like Chief of Staff should be for young people not his age mates, adding that Nigerians should stop making a caricature of public offices
He was quoted as saying, “I heard people mentioning my name to replace Abba Kyari but I take the story as an insult instead. I have once worked with the government in the 80s, worked with white men and also was once a Minister of the Federal republic. For someone to mention my name for that position is an insult especially for a man who served as a minister nearly 40 years ago and out of government.
“I should be employing people now, not trying to struggle for government appointments. At my level and age, people should first see if I am fit to serve and see if I am strong enough and if I am up-to-date with current realities of governance.
“Even if they approach the president with my name, he knows he cannot ask me to serve at this age. For God’s sake, you mean at my age, I should be waking up at 8am to go to work? Haba, I am way passed that lifestyle. It’s for people like you (referring to the BBC journalist) and other much younger persons. We should stop making caricatures of public offices simply because of the sake of getting appointments,” he said.
Meanwhile, a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, on Monday, listed Isa Funtua as a member of President Muhammadu Buhari’s “cabal”.
In his piece, Fani-Kayode hinted that there were powerful people around the president.
“Some say he was the leader of the cabal. This is a cabal in which seasoned and skillful old war horses, ancient northern political veterans and warriors like Mamman Daura, Zangon Daura, Mahmoud Tukur, Ismaila Isa Funtua, Lawal Daura, Baba Gana Kingibe and many others.”