•How Perm Secs used anti-Diezani’s sentiments to conspire against HoS
There was tension yesterday following the “sudden” decision of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Mr. Danladi Kifasi to proceed on retirement.
There were strong indications last night that Kifasi might have been pressurised to quit office following the appointment of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal from the Northeast like Kifasi.
The thinking of the government was that two sensitive posts cannot be conceded to the Northeast.
The same Northeast holds the offices of the National Security Adviser, Chief of Army Staff, the Chief of Staff to the President among others.
A source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Kifasi is proceeding on retirement because he was born on January 1, 1956 and by the civil service rule, you are either expected to retire either when you attain 60 years or upon putting 35 years in public service.
“And ideally, he ought to proceed on pre-retirement leave at least three months before leaving office.
“Certainly, Kifasi has notified President Muhammadu Buhari of plans to go on pre-retirement leave. But the President’s visit to Cross River State delayed the formal acceptance of the notice.”
Another source said: “Even if Kifasi is not retiring, the Principle of Federal Character as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution does not favour him.
“The Presidency has been weighing options on how to address the challenge of producing the SGF and Head of the Civil Service of the Federation from the Northeast. You know the administration of the President has been heavily criticised for favouring the Northeast.”
It was also learnt that the conspiracy of many Permanent Secretaries against Kifasi hastened his premature retirement.
Besides disdain for Kifasi, some Permanent Secretaries eyeing the office had wielded anti-Diezani Alison-Madueke’s sentiments against the outgoing Head of Service.
They alleged that Mrs Alison-Madueke was the brain behind the appointment of Kifasi as the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation having worked as the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
The aggrieved Permanent Secretaries also labeled him as a civil servant “loyal to PDP cause.”
“In fact, Kifasi has been having a running battle with some Permanent Secretaries who had shown apparent disloyalty against him.
“There was a case of a Permanent Secretary who attempted to create a wedge between he President and Kifasi before the G-8 Summit. An assignment sent to Kifasi did not get to him until about 48 hours to the trip.
“The President was livid with anger until it was discovered that there was sabotage on the part of a Permanent Secretary. The President had to forgive Kifasi.
“Some of these Permanent Secretaries also engineered petitions against Kifasi based on some issues already resolved in his favour.
“That seat was certainly hot for him despite the fact that he is not loyal to PDP as being insinuated.”