President Buhari urged to caution wife, SGF, CoS to hands-off National Hospital CMD appointment
The two major national health facilities in Nigeria’s capital, the Federal Medical Center (FMC) and the National Hospital in Abuja are set to be handed to relatives of President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Aisha Buhari.
While President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointment of Dr Saad Aliyu Ahmed, a relation of his wife, as the new FMC Chief Medical Director earlier in February, the process of appointing one for the National Hospital is feared to be designed towards favoring another relation of the president’s wife, Dr. Mahmud Raji.
Daily Nigerian reported recently that forces at the presidency are “making frantic efforts to compromise the process of appointing a substantive Chief Medical Director at National Hospital, Abuja.”
The online news medium said Aso Rock forces are planning to influence the appointment of Dr. Mahmud Raji as the CMD of the hospital despite his disqualification by the selection board.
Dr Raji affirmed that he applied for the job but denied been disqualified.
He is the doctor who treated the son of the president, Yusuf Buhari after suffering life-threatening injuries in a motorbike accident in Abuja in 2017.
He is rumored to be related to the wife of the president who is said to be keen on placing her kin in juicy federal positions.
On March 8, 2022, the Board of National hospital had placed an advertisement in some national dailies, calling on suitably qualified candidates to apply for the post of the CMD.
Part of the requirements, as announced by the Director of Administration and Secretary of the Board, Dr Peter Ekwagkhide, included registration with the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria not less than 15 years post qualification.
The advert stipulated that a candidate “must be a fellow of either the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria or West Africa Postgraduate Medical College or its equivalent registrable by the medical and Dental Council of Nigeria”.
Another requirement is that the candidate must have been a consultant for a minimum of 10 years.
Reports said that 19 applicants applied for the top job in the hospital but only six candidates were shortlisted for an oral/written interview.
Thirteen other applicants, including Mr Raji, were disqualified, according to Daily Nigerian.
Those earlier shortlisted are Dr Oluwole Olaomi, South West; Dr Oniyangi, North Central; Dr Yau Gagarawa, North West; Prof Abdulkadir Ayanniyi, South West; Dr Dike Obalum, South-South and; Prof. Muhammad Danfulani, North West.
But the date earlier set for the conduct of the interview was postponed indefinitely, due to alleged “orders from the above”.
An email dated September 6 and signed by the Director of Administration and Secretary of the Board, Peter Ekwagkhide, notified the shortlisted candidates about the postponement.
“Further to our letter of Invitation Ref. No: NHA/ADMIN/ 563/V.I dated 6th September 2022, I regret to inform you that the date for the conduct of the written Examination and Oral Interview for the position of CMD has been postponed indefinitely and a new date shall be communicated to you. Please acknowledge the receipt of this email,” the email read.
Nigerian Sketch was informed that the postponement was caused by the sudden arrest of the hospital’s governing board chairperson by men of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for reasons not unconnected to the process.
A source revealed that she was reluctant to heed the demands of the president’s wife, and was scheming to install her own preferred candidate. She therefore had to be stopped. “Hence her arrest, as the process could not have continued in her absence.”
Another source said “those interested are many. The president’s Chief of Staff has a candidate and the secretary to the government of the federation also has a candidate. These are in addition to the First Lady’s candidate. They will not allow the process to go unhindered. They must interfere.”
An insider, however, told our reporter that the selection process has resumed, with the president’s wife’s candidate now officially invited for the interview alongside five others, in addition to the initial six.
“There are twelve in all now, and the interview that was slated for Tuesday has been postponed by just a day to Wednesday.
“It will serve the best interest of the nation if President Muhammadu Buhari will prevail on those involved in the selection process to allow transparency to guide their actions. He should also appeal to all those presidency bigwigs and the First Lady not to interfere.”
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