Inspired by the book “All the President’s Men,” investigative journalists Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward’s exposé on the Watergate scandal, State House Correspondent TERHEMBA DAKA takes a closer look at President Bola Tinubu’s inner circle, the individuals who hold a special place in Nigeria’s State House and cater to the President’s personal and political needs.
This piece unveils those individuals who, according to sources within the State House, wield greater influence and access to President Tinubu than even his Cabinet. Meet “All The President’s Men”:
Lieutenant Colonel Nurudeen Alowonle Yusuf (ADC): The son of a monarch, Oba Yusuf Omokanye Oyekanmi, Lieutenant Colonel Yusuf serves as President Bola Tinubu’s Aide-de-Camp (ADC). With a distinguished military background and a commitment to the President’s safety, he brings a wealth of experience to his role.
Lieutenant Colonel Yusuf’s military journey started at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, and he has since undergone various courses both nationally and internationally. He holds a master’s degree in Defense Studies from King’s College, London, and a postgraduate diploma in Peace Studies and Conflict Resolution from the National Open University.
In his ceremonial role, he accompanies the President to official functions, ensuring the dignity and honor of the Presidency. His attention to detail is unwavering, providing the highest level of precision and seriousness in his duties.
Victor Adeleke – State Chief of Protocol (SCOP): A former career ambassador, Victor Adeleke, assumes the critical role of State Chief of Protocol. In addition to his more visible responsibility of arranging seating for the President, he acts as the President’s gofer and is expected to become one of President Tinubu’s most influential allies.
Adeleke’s diplomatic career and his previous roles in the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Permanent Secretary have equipped him with the skills and experience necessary to foster a strong relationship with the President.
Fasasi Adeboyega – Chief Security Officer (CSO): The Chief Security Officer is a powerful figure within the Presidential Villa, responsible for overseeing and coordinating security, especially the inner cordons. In conjunction with the ADC, the CSO plans the President’s movements, ensuring safety and protection both at home and during official trips.
Femi Gbajabiamila – Chief of Staff: Known for his close association with President Tinubu, Femi Gbajabiamila holds the powerful position of Chief of Staff. Gbajabiamila has been a long-standing ally of the President, wielding significant influence within the Presidency.
He is often regarded as the head of a new influential group and is believed to have handpicked several members of President Tinubu’s Cabinet. Gbajabiamila bridges the gap between the Parliament and the President, overseeing the President’s schedules and managing interactions with guests.
Nuhu Ribadu – National Security Adviser (NSA): A respected lawyer and former Executive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nuhu Ribadu is renowned for his relentless fight against corruption. Surprisingly, after a high-profile media trial of President Tinubu for alleged corruption, he became a political disciple and friend of the President.
Seyi Tinubu: As the President’s son and closest confidant, Seyi Tinubu holds substantial influence in the corridors of power. It is rumored that he played a pivotal role in selecting several members of his father’s Cabinet.
Col. Adebisi Onasanya – Commander, Guards Brigade: In charge of providing comprehensive protection for the President, the Commander of the elite Brigade oversees ceremonial duties and guards the President, his family, and guests. Additionally, this role extends to offering protection for other high-ranking officials within the government.
Toyin Subair – SA Domestic: Toyin Subair manages the activities of the President’s household, acting as the Chief emissary to the President. He plays a critical role in deciding who has access to the President at home.
Ajuri Ngelale – Special Adviser On Media And Publicity In The Presidency: Ngelale serves as the spokesperson for the President, responsible for managing the President’s image and addressing issues within the Presidency. He maintains regular interaction with the media and the State House Press corps, issuing daily press briefings.
Opeyemi Bamidele: Despite his office not being within the presidential villa, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele is a trusted ally of the President and wields significant influence in the corridors of power. He has a long history of working with President Tinubu, having served as his Senior Legislative Aide and Commissioner in Lagos State.
Abdullahi Ganduje: A political heavyweight from the northern region, Abdullahi Ganduje is a staunch ally of President Tinubu. He played a pivotal role in supporting Tinubu during the presidential election, even garnering substantial votes in Kano. He continues to wield substantial influence within the Presidency.