THE ongoing reorganisation in the Federal Government may see a retired General being appointed as the Chief of Staff to the president, it was learnt on Friday.
This came as certain forces around the president are also said to be advising President Goodluck Jonathan to scrap the office. They are said to be suggesting that the president’s Principal Secretary combine his duties with those of the Chief of Staff.
The position of these ‘advisers’, the source said, was informed by what was described as the perceived excesses of the last holder of that office.
A presidency source, however, told Saturday Tribune that two retired senior army officers – a Major-General and a Brigadier-General, both from the South-West – have been contacted to sound them out on their disposition to possible appointment to the position if the president eventually decides to do so.
One of the two Generals is from Oyo State while the other hails from Lagos State, Saturday Tribune learnt.
The decision to go for a retired General for the post, the source said, is one of the options being considered by the president who is under intense pressure from the South-West and the South-South to ‘give them’ the position.
It was gathered that the initial demand for the post by the North was defeated by the argument of the South that the North already had more than its fair share in the Federal Government line-up.
The North presently parades the Vice-President, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, National Security Adviser, the Chief of Defence Staff, among others.
The argument of the South-South in demanding for the position, it was gathered, is that the last occupier of the post hailed from the zone and as such, the post should remain there.
Apart from the cries of marginalisation in the Federal Government by the South-West, it was learnt that a key figure in the civil society organisations (names withheld) was with the president on Monday where discussions touched on the appointment of the president’s chief of staff and the need to pacify the South-West with the post.
The final decision on the appointment, the source said, is that of the president who is said to be weighing options and balancing the scales on the allocation of portfolios to the newly appointed ministers.