Ex-Senior Special Assistant on Public Affairs to former President Goodluck Jonathan, and one-time spokesman of ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo during the latter’s regime, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has declared that all administrations need to have a cabal in place to function well.
Okupe said successive governments in Nigeria had been at the mercy of cabals, saying cabal were kitchen cabinet members, the closest to the president, and the president depends on them to take decisions.
In the interview he granted Tribune, he was however, coy about whether he was a member of that of immediate past President Goodluck Jonathan.
He said, “From Ibrahim Babangida to the late General Sani Abacha and Abdulsalami Abubakar. You will remember that Abdulsalami had a group of four or five young people who were technocrats. Obasanjo had Ezekwesili, el-Rufai, Ribadu and so on. Look, every government has its own cabal. They may be faceless but it depends on what the situation is,” Okupe told the paper.
Speaking further, “They don’t dictate; they are the people the president falls back on in times of critical decision making. Those are the people they call cabal. You can’t run an administration without your key men. They call them ‘the president’s men’. Sometimes they are overbearing like, maybe, now and sometimes they are not. They are faceless but not too obstructive. During Yar’Adua’s tenure, there were four young gentlemen from Katsina. Believe me, I have studied enough and I know enough about the presidency in Nigeria. I can write a book about the cabals that have run the country, but that is not the basis of this interview.”