Garba Shehu, Special Assistant I President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, says ministers still have access to the President and that the role of Abba kyari, Buhari’s chief of staff, had not changed.
Following the inauguration of his cabinet, Buhari his new ministers to channel all requests met for him through Kyari – A statement which sparked reactions from many Nigerians.
However, in order to clarify controversies generated by the statement, Shehu said that the allegations that Kyari had been granted more powers under Buhari’s second term were false.
“Recent media and social media reports on the responsibilities of the Chief of Staff to the President have suggested that the role has changed. This is not the case,” he said.
“Today, under the Buhari II administration the role of Chief of Staff remains the same as it was under Buhari 1.”
The presidential spokesman stated further that “It is worth stressing that the role and responsibilities of the Chief of Staff and the method of communication and arranging scheduling between Cabinet members and the President are, in Nigeria, based on the US model, where the same system operates – and has done for decades – in precisely the same way.”
“That role is to act as the head of the presidential administration at Aso Rock; to be an adviser to the President on any and all matters; to be the line manager for all staff at Aso Rock, and to manage appointments and scheduling for the President.
“In the traditional presidential system, it is a primary function of a Chief of Staff, which may vary according to the needs and desires of each President, to supervise key State House Staff, control access to the office and the person of the President, manage communications and information flow and this includes that which binds the relationship with the two other arms of government.
“During the President’s first term those were the responsibilities of the Chief of Staff, and they remain the same responsibilities today. There is no change.
“This is to stress that access to the President is open to ministers. It is not true that this is denied in the Second Term.”
Shehu urged the public to set aside these allegations that Buhari only gave the directive in order to inform the new ministers of the mode of operation.