Vice-President Kashim Shettima has cautioned presidential aides to always exercise discretion in their public and private lives so as to avoid any actions that can tarnish the reputation of the administration of President Bola Tinubu.
The Vice President gave the charge Monday at the opening ceremony of a retreat and sensitization programme for political aides and senior bureaucrats in the presidency on administrative procedure and governance in the public sector.
The retreat, holding from 4th to 22nd September, at the Nigerian Army Resource Centre, Abuja, is being organised by the State House in conjunction with Direct Knowledge Consult Ltd.
The theme of the retreat is “Forging a Path to Responsible Governance: A Call to Political Aides”, noted a statement issued by Olusola Abiola Director of Information in the Office of the Vice-President.
The Vice-President told them that “from today, your words and actions will undergo more intense scrutiny, occasionally even rigorous criticism.
“The responsibility you carry isn’t merely about fulfilling your role; it encompasses the aspirations of our entire nation.”
He pointed out that the “retreat is designed to facilitate your transition and equip you with the fundamental tenets of public sector administration and governance. “
Restating the vision of President Tinubu’s government, Vice President Shettima said “our mission too is clear: to uplift the lives of our citizens impartially and inspire lasting change.
“Leadership, for us, means breaking down barriers of inequality and fostering a safe, peaceful society. To truly expand educational opportunities and empower our youth with knowledge for self-reliance, we must fully dedicate ourselves to our duties within the State House.
“As many of you take your initial steps into the realm of public service, especially at the federal level, let it be clear that your competence is beyond doubt. You are here because of your formidable skills, and our confidence in your potential to catalyze change.
“We yearn for fresh and imaginative ideas to harmonize with established practices.”
On the sensitive nature of their roles as political aides, Vice President Shettima said “from this very moment, you are bound by the laws of our land in all matters of official correspondence. These laws outline the consequences for both intentional and unintended mishandling of the information entrusted to your care.”
The Vice President warned them that “should you falter in this duty, the consequences would ripple far beyond the intricate fabric of governance. They could erode public trust, jeopardize national security, and undermine the very integrity of our administration.
“Understand that your credibility, that of your team, your superiors, and indeed, the entire government, rests in the balance, and history reminds us that very few have emerged unscathed from the aftermath of such ethical lapses.”
Shettima further called for synergy and team work among the participants, stating that “your primary instinct should always revolve around the recognition that you are part of a team, united in the pursuit of a shared objective. There is no need for rivalry. This, precisely, is the essence of your presence here.”
In his welcome address, the Permanent, Secretary State House, Engr. Funso Adebiyi disclosed that the training was aimed at registering the commitment of the political aides towards actualizing the goals of the President Bola Tinubu led administration.
He stated further that participants would be exposed to techniques of information and documents management systems in order to ensure the smooth running of the new administration.
In attendance at the event were the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President, (DCoS), Office of the Vice President, Senator Ibrahim Hassan Hadeja; Permanent Secretary State House, Engr. Funso Adebiyi; the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Abubakar Rufa’i; the representative of the Director-General, Directorate of State Services and other senior government officials.