One-time Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, has broken his silence on his rumoured link to the vacant position of Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Kingibe, who has been widely tipped as the favourite for the position, told close friends that reports that he had been acting in the capacity even while the late erstwhile occupant of the position, Mallam Abba Kyari, was on his sick bed were unfounded.
“Kingibe has never acted as Chief of Staff to President Buhari,” one of those he confided in told News Express on Sunday. “While it is true that the President sometimes consults him on issues, he said it was not true that he had ever acted as his Chief of Staff,” the source said.
He quoted Kingibe as also saying: “I have never told anyone in private or public that I am interested in becoming the Chief of Staff to the President.
“The late Chief of Staff, Mallam Abba Kyari, was my friend. It would appear as if I wanted my friend out so as to take his position, but that is not true.”
Kingibe, according to the source, emphasised that President Buhari had never at any time hinted that he was being considered for the position, which became vacant with Abba Kyari’s death last Friday night.
Asked if Kingibe would accept the position if offered by the President, the source said: “He is not one to turn down a national assignment. However, he wants it known that he has not been offered the position and is not lobbying for it.”