Following the altercation between the Head of Service, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita and Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari over a leaked memo in Abuja on Wednesday, some groups have warned the presidency not to intimidate the HoS.
In the leaked memo, Oyo-Ita said that she warned the President against asking Abdulrasheed Maina to return to the civil service, saying doing so could affect the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government.
Oyo-Ita, it was gathered, also accused Kyari of being the brains behind the leakage.
Speaking on the issue, the convener of the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, said the “verbal tirade” against Oyo-Ita by the President’s Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, was obviously an attempt to intimidate her into silence.
He said, “This shameless act by the Chief of Staff clearly shows you how desperate this administration can get. Most of the questions we as Nigerians have been asking about what Mr. President knows about this whole Maina saga have been answered by this leaked memo.
“We have been asking what does Mr. President know about this whole thing and when was it brought to his attention? Unless he comes clean, no attempt by a chief of staff to intimidate a thorough bred career civil servant whose record of performance he can never match can wash this administration clean of this crime against the Nigerian people.”
The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights has also flayed Kyari for attacking Oyo-Ita, saying it was an embarrassment to the Buhari administration.
The CDHR President, Malachy Ugwummadu, said, “The Maina issue has become very scandalising and embarrassing. It is not unexpected. Some of us have repeatedly expressed our resentment over the poor coordination of the entire affairs of this government.
“The height of that resentment was the show of shame that characterised the altercation and near fisticuffs of the Chief of Staff and the Head of Service. I think the President at this point needs to address the drift.”
The Director, Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, Debo Adeniran, however, said, “What happened between Abba Kyari and Oyo-Ita was a private discussion which we should not worry about, except Kyari was seen to be an interloper in matters which concern the President.”
Maina, whose whereabouts are still unknown, has been accused of embezzling pensioners’ funds running into billions of naira and is currently under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.