The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) has said it has no role to play in determining or influencing who emerges as the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
It says the appointment of a Chief of Staff, who is a personal aide to the Chief Executive is at the discretion of the President. No fewer than five names are been touted for the office.
The party’s position was revealed in an interview with the National Publicity Secretary of the party, Mallam Lanre Issa-Onilu in Abuja on Saturday.
The clarification became necessary following pressure being mounted by some party organs, chieftains and close associates of the President on who is to be appointed to replace the immediate past Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari who died penultimate Friday in Lagos.
Distancing the ruling party from the exercise, Issa-Onilu said the appointment of a Chief of Staff to the President, who is a personal aide to the Chief Executive is within the purview of the President.
According to the National Publicity Secretary, “The office of a Chief of Staff is not a statutory position. That position is that of a personal aide to the President. The office, the power and authority as well as the duties and responsibilities of the person that occupy’s the position is determined solely by the President.
“The party is not involved and will not be involved in the appointment. We understand perfectly that the appointment of Chief of Staff is at the discretion of the President. It is the President who knows what he wants from the person he wants to appoint, so it does not concern anybody or the party.
“The President has idea of what he wants from his Chief of Staff and he understands the kind of person that can deliver to him. The office of Chief of Staff is not a constitutional matter. He (President) may not even have the office, he may decide to scrap the office completely and he will not be breaking any law of the land”.
Issa-Onilu said the party frowned at the tension being generated since the demise of Kyari and warned all those putting pressure on the President to desist from doing so. “People are just making a mountain out of a Mole hill. Why should any body or the party influence who to chose?” he queried.
But when asked if the pressure on the President was not a distraction, the APC Chieftain said the President could not be distracted by the “unwarranted pressure”.
“If we underrate the capacity of Mr. President, we may think he is distracted, but, we as a party, understand that the President cannot be distracted. He is a man of his own mind. He knows what he wants and has the capacity to do what he wants to do. He is a man whose decisions are guided by the interest of the nation,” he concluded.