Chief Olabode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), on Friday added his voice to the criticisms that has trailed the statement by President Muhammadu Buhari directing his ministers to channel all their meeting requests to him through his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen, George said asking ministers to go through the Chief of Staff will slow down governance and delay decision-making.
It would be recalled that the President had at the close of the two-day retreat organised for the ministers, asked them to always go through Kyari for meeting requests and through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, for issues relating to the Federal Executive Council.
He reiterated the same thing on Wednesday while inaugurating the ministers.
He said, “As I said yesterday (Tuesday), in terms of coordinating communication, kindly ensure that all submissions for my attention or meeting requests be channelled through the Chief of Staff while all Federal Executive Council matters be coordinated through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in order to speed up the process of decision-making.”
George, who said he cannot fault President Buhari’s methodology, however said Ministers should be able to have direct access to the President having appointed them as his assistants in overseeing strategic ministries.
He said under the PDP, ministers have direct access to the President and they are not restrained from discussing challenges in their ministries or sharing ideas on how to improve productivity.
“My take is this: there is a saying that different stroke for different times. Maybe that is the methodology the President wants to adopt. During the era PDP was in power, the way we operated when we were in government, ministers have direct access to the President because as executive president, he appointed them and entrusted the running of such strategic ministries to them to manage.