Video Of Dr Onaolapo Soleye And Other Ministers Being Sworn-In In 1984
Clips of NTA News bulletins from January/February 1984 (part 3).
This video begins with a clip of General Buhari in the room at Dodan Barracks where Shagari, Buhari, Idiagbon and Babangida usually received ambassadors (the ambassadors usually delivered their letter of credence at State House, Marina, but other meetings were usually held in this room at Dodan Barracks).
He received the West German and French ambassadors and the charge d’ affairs of the Japanese Embassy. He also received other ambassadors, but their names were mentioned before this video began.
The next report was about the constitution of the Federal Executive Council of the new military administration. General Buhari swore in the 18 ministers at the Council Chamber at Dodan Barracks.
(Note: during the military regimes of 1966-1979 and 1983-1985, the Presidency was known as Supreme Headquarters. During the military regime of 1985-1993 it was known as the Presidency or General Headquarters).
We can see photographers struggling to get pictures of the new ministers and members of the SMC inside the Council Chambers at Dodan Barracks.
The first person to be sworn in, of course, was the minister of defence, Major General Domkat Bali (the number 3 man in the regime). He represented Plateau State on the Council.
He was followed by General Vatsa (minister of FCT/ representing Niger State).
Then there was General Magoro (minister of Internal Affairs/Sokoto State).
Then Brigadier Solomon Omojokun (Employment, Labour and Productivity/Ondo State).
Then Commodore Patrick Koshoni (Health/Lagos State).
Samson Emeka Omeruah (Information, Youth and Culture/Imo State) was next.
Colonel Ahmed Abdullahi (Communications/Kano State).
Mr Chike Ofodile from Anambra State was the minister of Justice and attorney general of the Federation.
Alhaji Ibrahim Yerima Abdullahi from Bauchi State was the minister of Education, Science and Technology.
Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim of Benue State was minister of Transport and Aviation.
Dr Abubakar Shuaib of Borno was minister of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Dr Mahmud Tukur of Gongola State was minister of Commerce and Industry.
Alhaji Rilwanu Lukman of Kaduna State was minister of Mines, Power and Steel.
Dr Ibrahim Gambari was the minister of External Affairs and he represented Kwara State
Dr Onaolapo Soleye from Ogun State was the minister of Finance
Chief Michael Sunday Adigun from Oyo State was the minister of National Planning
Professor Tam David West of Rivers State was the minister of Petroleum and Energy.
Finally, Dr Emmanuel Nsan from Cross River State was minister of Works and Housing.
Also sworn in as aides of the head of state were Alhaji Abubakar Mamu, who was sworn in as principal secretary to the head of state and Alhaji Wada Abdullahi Maida, who was sworn in as chief press secretary.
General Buhari said that it took a while before the FEC was constituted because they had to do a deep search for competent Nigerians. He said that the ministers would be held responsible for the success or failure of policies and programmes in their ministries. He also said that their lifestyles would be closely watched. (I am summarising his speech here) He basically said that the ministers would not be allowed to behave the way their predecessors (in the Shagari admin) behaved. He said that they were to submit reports about the projects in their ministries in order to determine if those projects were worthwhile in the economic climate that the country was in.
The SMC approved 18 ministries for the government, but we had 19 states at that time. This meant that Bendel State did not have any minister, but the secretary to the Federal Military Government was from Bendel State (and two members of the SMC were also from Bendel State).
President Jaafar Nimeiry was scheduled to visit Nigeria, so his envoy was at Dodan Barracks to see Buhari.
The chief of staff, Supreme Headquarters, Brigadier Tunde Idiagbon, met with media executives at the Council Chambers at Dodan Barracks. He urged the media to disseminate correct information and give positive guidance to the nation.
You can see Dele Giwa, Engineer Vincent Maduka and other media executives at this meeting.
Idiagbon expressed disappointment with some of the stories carried by the Nigerian press. He said that write-ups and suggestions had not been helpful. He said that many of the writeups seemed to show a lack of understanding, even a lack of sympathy for the objectives of the government which the same media hailed only two weeks ago. The report was not completed.
The next report was about a visit by Tunji Braithwaite (leader of NAP in the Second Republic) to Tunde Idiagbon.
The Emir of Argungu visited General Buhari to give him a letter from the Sultan of Sokoto (I can’t remember for sure, but I think it was this visit that led to that rumour back then. The rumour was that the Sultan of Sokoto was not happy that Shagari was overthrown). The NTA correspondent in Sokoto also reported that a delegation from the Federal Government had visited the Sultan and told him that Shagari was well and doing fine.
Then back at the NTA News studio, we see Ruth Benamaisia who introduces a story about the visit of the UN secretary general, Javier Perez de Cuellar, to Dodan Barracks. He came to say farewell to General Buhari after his tour of Nigeria.
The next report is about the visit of President Ronald Reagan’s special envoy, Retired General Vernon Walters, to Dodan Barracks. General Buhari told General Walters that Nigeria’s economy deteriorated because the former administration used middlemen who were either party agents, legislators or ministers. He said that all those involved would be brought to book. He also assured the envoy that all persons that were arrested would receive fair trials. The foreign affairs minister, Dr Ibrahim Gambari, also gave journalists details about General Walters’ visit. Dr Gambari also talked about the situation in Chad and I would really like you to hear what he said at the end of that interview.
John Momoh introduces the next story. It is about the visit of the chairman of Ecowas and president of Guinea, Sekou Toure to Lagos. They showed the airport ceremony and then they showed the driveway into State House Marina, where the two leaders held meetings. General Buhari gave an extempore speech at the beginning of the meeting. President Toure gave an interview to the NTA at the airport during his departure from Nigeria.
The last report was about the visit of members of the Public Service Commission to Dodan Barracks. General Buhari said that the government would continue to remove civil servants whose services were no longer required. He lamented the fact that the best traditions of the Civil Service were eroded by politicians. He asked the Public Service Commission to dig into its records and find ways to restore confidence in the Civil Service.
Finally, General Buhari received the Ataoja of Osogbo and the Timi of Ede. Referring to wanted politicians who were in exile abroad, he said that the government would do everything possible to counter their activities.