BudgIT founder, Oluseun Onigbinde, whose appointment as technical adviser to the Minister of Budget, has generated some furore, has quit, barely days after he took the job.
In a statement, titled, AN UPDATE ON MY RECENT APPOINTMENT, Onigbinde, a critic of the Buhari administration, said he has resigned the appointment.
His resignation followed the same pattern like Dr. Festus Adedayo’s another Buhari critic, who was initially appointed as special adviser to Senate President Ahmad Lawan.
“I am very grateful to the Honourable Minister, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, for believing in my expertise and I also thank everyone who sent his or her congratulations to me in the short period. I have also been humbled by the faith and belief that numerous persons have expressed in me”, Onigbinde said.
Read his full statement:
Kindly recall that I sent out a note recently on my interest to seek new experiences and that I would be working as a Technical Adviser to the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning for a short period.
It is clear that recent media reports about my appointment have created a complex narrative, which I believe would engender an atmosphere of mistrust, as I planned to proceed.
Upon further reflections on the furore that has been generated by my new role as the Technical Adviser to the
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, I humbly resign the appointment.
I am very grateful to the Honourable Minister, Prince Clem Ikanade Agba, for believing in my expertise and I also thank everyone who sent his or her congratulations to me in the short period. I have also been humbled by the faith and belief that numerous persons have expressed in me.
My sincere interest is to see a Nigeria that grows and optimises resources for the benefits of all Nigerians.
My loyalty to the good cause of our nation, Nigeria compelled me to accept the call to provide technical skills and this experience has more than strengthened it.
I also want to wish the Nigerian Government, led by President Muhammadu Buhari, well. I will always be of help to the federal government in my capacity as the Director of BudgIT, a critical fiscal transparency group, as I have been to several agencies. I would also work to ensure that BudgIT continues to build civic awareness on the right of every Nigerian to know how public resources are managed.
Thank you all.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.’
Since Seun’s appointment was made public, he has been the object of attacks by fans who questioned his credibility as a Buhari critic, only to agree to work under the same government.
On Sunday, the influential Buhari Media Organisation, weighed in and asked him to quit.
BMO said the appointment was a travesty that desecrates the characters of honour and integrity which are the hallmarks of President Muhammadu Buhari and those who are called to serve in his government.
In a statement signed by Niyi Akinsiju and Cassidy Madueke, BMO’s Chairman and Secretary respectively, the group wondered how “an imbalanced caustic denigrator of the government of President Buhari would be called to serve in the same administration he had described in the most unpalatable terms.
“Seun Onigbinde lacks honour and integrity, which are characters known of President Buhari, and thus could not be in the same team with him.
“He has severally described the President with the most distasteful terms, and has shown, especially on social media, that he sees nothing good in the administration of President Buhari.
” Onigbinde had also gone to the shameful extent of describing those who support the President and his administration as ‘ethnic jingoists’. He once referred to the President as ‘incompetent’, and accused him of being a dictator committing illegality.
“We cannot but wonder that this same man accepted an appointment to serve in this same administration he has described in the most odious terms. It shows he lacks honour.
“He perhaps was browbeating all the while so he could achieve some notice and be sneaked in at night into the same government he publicly threw invectives at”.
BMO added that Mr Onigbinde lacked decency and morality to reject the said appointment if indeed he believed in those insults he had publicly hurled at Buhari and his administration
“We believe that a man must stand for something, and live by it. If Seun was called by anyone to take an appointment in a government he ridiculed and called illegal and dictatorial, he should have turned it down, if he had any decency or morals”.
In a reaction to criticism about the appointment, Onigbinde said the appointment was at the initiative of an international development agency. And that it would last for six months.
“Friends, I have accepted to take up an advisory role underwritten by an international development agency for
an initial period of six months . I believe that to guard the reputation of BudgIT, I need to take an operational
break and make my new position public. In a technical advisory role, I shall be supporting the Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Prince Clem Agba, along the issues of budget reform, development planning, and
“It is similar to a task Joseph Agunbiade (my BudgIT co- founder) and I worked on in 2013–14, under the DFID-FEPAR program for the National Assembly Budget and Research Office.
“I see this as an adventure considering an accepted steep curve on public sector structure. I wish to state I
remain loyal to my values — of appreciating the right of every citizen tomask the hard questions; that public
resources must be accounted for; and that civic spaces and individual rights must be keenly protected.
“I have spoken to our partners, advisory board, and mentors, and I believe this is part of multi-pronged approach towards accelerating the long-term objectives of BudgIT and exploring new experiences. I will constantly review the objectives that I have set for this period and provide updates as I proceed.
“My belief in the capacity of BudgIT, led by Gabriel Okeowo, to do great work in demanding effective transparency and accountability remains unshaken”.