Since the ascension of President Muhammadu Buhari to office, Nigeria has been experiencing unusual changes in various sectors of the country. Among the most recent is the appointment of Samuel Inalegwu Ode Ankeli as the Senior Special Assistant to the President. Mr. Ankeli is a visually impaired veterinary doctor and has been given the responsibility of handling matters concerning people living with disability.
Mr. Ankeli headed the Directorate of Persons with Disability at the Buhari/Osinbajo APC presidential campaign headquarters, the first of any such department in a political party in Nigeria. Due to his condition and experience (both first hand and second), President Buhari deemed him fit to understand, cater for and manage other handicapped persons.
According to a statement by presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, Mr Samuel Ankeli…
“…led a team that successfully mobilized a large number of the more that 24 million disabled persons in the country to support the APC candidate and his running mate in the 2015 presidential election campaign.”
Mr. Ankeli is a native of Benue State. He schooled in Giwa, near Zaria and Kaduna before reading veterinary medicine at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. He worked with the Benue State government for a while the left the job give time to his activist role in promoting of the well-being of people with all kinds of disability, especially the blind. He is an active religious man who also loves sports, and is happily married with children.
So far, the presidency is making progress in the journey of appointing people into office. Last week Monday, he appointed a former member of House of Representatives, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa as his Senior Special Assistant On Foreign Affairs. Dabiri-Erewa, who was a staunch member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos state, had a colorful career in the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA). She was also the Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Diaspora in the 7th Assembly.
Apparently, Mr. President thinks she is the best candidate for that position. Same with the likes of Tolu Ogunlesi who he appointed as Head of Digital and New Media, and also Maryam Uwais who is now the Special Adviser For Social Protection Plan, thanks to Buhari’s appointment. What more can we say? This is part of the change he promised!