Bolaji Abdullahi, a former minister of sports, has been announced as the new national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC.
Abdullahi’s announcement came on Thursday, December 1, 2016, Signal reports, at a mini convention held by the party at Chelsea Hotel in Abuja.
The position for the ruling party’s spokesman had been vacant since Lai Mohammed was appointed minister in September 2015.
Timi Frank, deputy national publicity secretary, was prevented from taking over from Mohammed, a decision which has led to public disagreements between he and John Odigie-Oyegun, the national chairman of the party. Mala Buni, national secretary of the APC, had been signing official statements on behalf of the ruling party.
Frank has been suspended from the APC ahead of his expulsion, according to the party’s authorities.
Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi was born in 1969. He attended one of Nigeria’s leading universities, the University of Lagos, Akoka-Lagos where he graduated with a B.Sc. Second Class Upper degree, in Mass Communication.
Mallam Abdullahi started his working career as a volunteer and part-time worker in civil society organizations and international agencies before joining ThisDay newspapers as a reporter in 1997.
In his first year as a journalist, he won a nomination for the Nigerian Media Merit Award for the Best Newspaper Feature of the Year. In 1998, he joined the Africa Leadership Forum, a civil society organization based in Ota, Ogun State as a publications officer, and later a programme officer. He returned to ThisDay in 2000 as the deputy editor of ThisDay on Sunday, and become the deputy editor of ThisDay a year later. However, it was for his weekly column, Grains of Wit that he made his mark.
In 2001, he won the British Council Chevening Scholarship to study for a postgraduate programme in governance and development at the prestigious Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex, in the United Kingdom where in 2002; he bagged a Masters Degree with distinction.
In 2003, he was appointed as the special assistant, communication and strategy to then Governor Bukola Saraki of Kwara State and in 2005, he was appointed special adviser on policy and strategy to Saraki.
Mallam Abdullahi has written over 1000 newspaper articles. He authored the Nigeria country report for the Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report, 2003.
In April 2007, he was appointed as Kwara State commissioner of education, science and technology, a position he held until May 2011.
Abdullahi was appointed as the minister of youth development by President Goodluck Jonathan, in July 2011. He was later assigned to the sports ministry where under his watch Nigeria won the African Nations Cup after a nineteen year drought as well as winning the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup.