Umar Ardo, former Special Adviser on Research and Strategy to ex-Vice President Atiku Abubakar, expressed indifference towards the purported unequal appointments under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In an interview with PUNCH, Ardo emphasized the importance of performance over the regional origins of appointees, citing instances where the past President Muhammadu Buhari appointed northerners across various sectors without yielding satisfactory results.
Regarding the nation’s economic state, Ardo asserted that the removal of the fuel subsidy serves as appeasement to international monetary organizations, stating that it does not contribute positively to the country.
When questioned about his affiliation with Tinubu, Atiku’s former aide clarified that he doesn’t share a close relationship with the President.
However, he noted that Tinubu is currently benefiting from the groundwork of the All Progressives Congress (APC), which Ardo played a role in shaping, even though he does not have a personal alliance with Tinubu.
He said, “I have no business with him aside that he’s my country’s President. Other than when I was in the Villa serving as an adviser on State and Local Government Affairs, and he was the governor of Lagos State, we used to meet and relate purely in an official capacity, I never had anything to do with him. I can say I don’t know him from Adam. But I can also say he is unknowingly presently reaping from the sweat of my efforts in contriving the APC.
“But as Nigeria’s President, I pray for him to succeed. I hope for the sake of the country that he does. But for President Tinubu to succeed, he needs to focus on probity and accountability. The previous administration did not do that. They will give responsibility and there will not be any follow-up on that. I also thought he was going to address Nigeria’s problems, corruption.
“I am not worried at all; if those he appoints will deliver, I don’t care where they are from. What we want is delivery. After all, President Buhari appointed mostly northerners in most sectors of the country, but did they deliver? What benefits was it for the North? I don’t do things based on North-South, Muslim-Christian sentiments. Our country has collapsed, and I can only hope and pray for the success of President Tinubu’s administration.
“It is unfortunate that under him, the country is having serious problems, hunger, starvation, and poverty, especially in northern Nigeria. The removal of the fuel subsidy is an appeasement to international monetary organisations as far as I am concerned. But it is not helping the country; we are not subsidising anything. If President Tinubu wants to change the country, he must change the mode of governing the country because the mode of governance is faulty.”