As It Happened: Buhari’s appointees reconcile, embrace publicly after Maina clash

The Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari and the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, on Wednesday embraced publicly before the commencement of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The development came a week after the two top government officials engaged in an altercation at the same venue.

Oyo-Ita on arrival at the council chambers’ venue for the meeting went straight to greet Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

She was still discussing with Osinbajo when Kyari arrived.

All smiles, Kyari and Oyo-Ita embraced as cameramen struggled to get good shots of the public display of reconciliation.

Other members of the council clapped for them as the drama unfolded.

A heated argument had taken place between the two officials last week.

The altercation was believed to be the fallout of the leaked memo, which Oyo-Ita sent to Kyari on the controversial reinstatement and subsequent posting of the embattled former Chairman of the Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina.

The clash between the two officials took place in the presence of Osinbajo; President of the Senate, Bukola Saraki; Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara; National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, John Odigie-Oyegun; service chiefs and ministers.

The leaked memo, titled, ‘Re: Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina,’ was Oyo-Ita’s response to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that she should investigate the circumstances that surrounded the return of Maina to the civil service.

He gave the directive following the public outcry that greeted Maina’s reinstatement.

Maina, whose whereabouts are still unknown, has been accused of embezzling pensioners’ funds running into billions of naira and is under investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

The memo started by stating, “Further to your letter Ref. SH/COS/100/A/1570 dated 23rd October, 2017 on the above subject matter, I write to inform you of the circumstances leading to the irregular recall of Mr. Abdulrasheed Abdullahi Maina.

“I wrote to place on record the following facts as it pertains to Mr. A. A. Maina who was dismissed from service on 21st February, 2013.

“The move to recall Mr. A. A. Maina was at the instance of a series of letters from the Attorney General of the Federation to the Federal Civil Service Commission requesting the commission to give consequential effect to the judgment that voided the warrant of arrest issued against Mr. A. A. Maina which formed the basis for the query and his eventual dismissal.”

It concluded, “Please note that the OHCSF was never in agreement with the reinstatement and consequently never conveyed the approval of the FCSC to Mr. A. A. Maina nor approved his posting to the Ministry of Interior or any other MDA. Rather, I sought audience with His Excellency, Mr. President, on Wednesday, 11th October, 2017 after the FEC meeting where I briefed His Excellency verbally on the wide-ranging implications of the reinstatement of Mr. A. A. Maina, especially the damaging impact on the anti-corruption stance of this administration.”

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