Many President Muhammadu Buhari watchers would have noticed a little guy who usually fusses around whenever the president is in a room. His most obvious role is to pull out a chair for the presidential bum to rest on.
The man in question is Lawal Kazaure and he is a career foreign service diplomat, whose official title is now either “Chief of Protocol” or “Presidential Liaison Officer”.
Apart from the servile chair adjustment task, Kazaure seems to be the president’s gofer, and was seen last night welcoming US Secretary of State John Kerry to the Presidential Villa and ushering him into the meeting room with Buhari.
Kazaure was a former deputy director at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and is married to Buhari’s niece. Some reports claim that he has used that closeness to the president to become one of the most powerful members of Buhari’s inner circle.
As Kazaure has become one of the powers behind the presidential throne, he seems to have interpreted this to involve holding literally the seat of power. In a country with dwindling revenues and a president calling for prudent use of resources, it is not quite clear why a senior official is reduced to such flunkey duties like adjusting chairs even for executive behinds. It seems another case of “jobs for the boys” – especially boys related to the president.