Boss Mustapha: A Boss and His Boss

Is Boss Mustapha the new face of a “blanketed President and his Vice”? Nigerians lash out on social media asking very vital questions. “The job of a secretary is normally to ensure meetings are effectively organized and minutes taken. I don't understand Boss Mustapha’s kind of secretary or is he the new Boss like his name implies?”

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The boss and his boss
The SGF. Boss Mustapha, Chairman PTF on COVID-19 and APPT

Lately he is the one Nigerians are looking up to and expecting to hear from. He is the one who would address them almost on daily basis or at least every other day to give them a glimpse into the mind of his shadowy boss who is rarely heard and even rarer to see (except for sneaky announcements of his usual lopsided appointments in the media). He is the one who has been demonstrating leadership in the country especially since the outbreak of the corona virus pandemic, call it delegated leadership – it fits him perfectly nonetheless. After all, it is said that in the absence of leadership, any leadership would do just fine.

Of recent, the hashtags: “#Where is Osinbajo?” and “#AsoRock is Empty” trended vehemently across the social media and are perhaps still trending. However, the latest to join the trends was the hashtag – #Boss Mustapha.

It would be recalled that at the onset of the corona virus pandemic in Nigeria even before the country recorded its index case, Nigerians has clamoured for leadership like they saw in other countries in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic to no avail. It wasn’t until after much agitations and persuasions that President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 9, 2020, eventually oblige the nation with a televised address over the corona virus pandemic only to once more recuse himself  of his leadership responsibility (of course on grounds of incapacity) by setting up a Presidential Task Force (PTD) on COVID 19 and of course saddling the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha with the responsibility of providing that much needed leadership in a pandemic situation by appointing him to chair the task force.

Boss Mustapha - SGF
The SGF. Boss Mustapha, Chairman PTF on COVID-!9 and Ajaokuta Presidential Project Implementation Team.

The SSG, would among other things from then on take charge of coordinating and overseeing the country’s multi-sectoral inter-governmental efforts to contain the spread and mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 crises in Nigeria while he (President Buhari) safely or perhaps cowardly isolates himself with his family obviously for fear of the no-nonsense virus especially given the fact that his very own Chief of Staff and confidante in whom he was overly dependent has about the time just caught the virus or should I say was caught by the deadly virus from which he (Abba Kyari) later died. Since then, the new boss, Boss Mustapha has obviously been doing a great job providing leadership and making all the mistakes to be made by talking to Nigerians on the state of the COVID 19 pandemic in the country so far.

However, the hashtag -#BossMustapha suddenly emerged and started trending rapidly among Nigerians when as announced by Boss Mustapha himself President Muhammadu Buhari only yesterday (May 12, 2020) created another Presidential team which he had tagged “Ajaokuta Presidential Project Implementation Team” with the aim of diversifying the economy and guess who is in charge again – the same jolly good Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

Boss is to chair the team while the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, is to serve as the alternate chairman. The membership of the Ajaokuta Presidential Project Implementation Team (APPIT) include the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Solicitor General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, as well as Mr. Gabriel Aduda, a Permanent Secretary in the Office of the SGF amongst others.

This second appointment perhaps did not go down well with many Nigerians who took to the social media to variously ventilate their views thus given rise to the #BossMustapha which at the time of this report was still trending like wild fire.

A respondent who spoke to Citizensnewsroom wondered why in the first place the Minister of Mines and Steel Development would not have been given the sole chairmanship of the APPIT.

He said, “It reflects the un-seriousness of the govt. Politicians do not find solutions to problems. An experienced person in the industry should head the committee. Is Boss Mustapha no longer the Chairman of the PTF-Covid-19?

Citizensnewsroom was able to gather a couple of social media comments by citizens under the #BossMustapha as follows: In his comment, a user sarcastically asked, “So now Boss Mustapha is the new Abba Kyari?”

Another had this to say: “While the first President; Abba Kyari is now late, the new President, Boss Mustapha is now in power while the well-known ceremonial President Buhari is still shy of the public. These guys can’t stop shaming Nigerians.”

Yet another user went ahead to even imply the whereabouts of Vice President Yemi Osibanjo: “I will not be surprised if Buhari does not appoint another chief of staff until 2023. Boss Mustapha seems to be the next loyalist. After all, it’s all about loyalty at the rock. This raises some questions about what is happening with Osinbajo”, he said.


While yet another user added: “It is safe to say that Boss Mustapha is the key figure in this govt. His appointment as Chairman for the Ajaokuta committee over the Minister of Steel (who is alternate Chairman) reflects this. It also reflects the importance of the project to President Buhari”.

“The leadership of Boss Mustapha in the fight against the COVID19 pandemic is ripe for praise & commendation. Well done, SGF. Sir, the Presidential Task Force under your watch has witnessed smooth sailing, thus far. He’s also leading the Ajeokuta project now….amazing”, yet another added.

In conclusion with the #BossMustapha are by implication demonstrating their concerns not only of the lopsidedness in appointments which has become the hallmark of President Buhari’s administration but also his increasing inactivity and gross failure to take personal responsibility and provide leadership in the country even in the face of an ongoing pandemic that is still ravaging the world.

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