Engr. Umar Abdullahi Umar, Executive Director, Technical Services of the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), is the son of ex-Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

President Bola Tinubu had appointed Umar into the new REA management team following the indefinite suspension slammed on the agency’s team led by Ahmad Salihijo.

While Tinubu named Aliyu Abubakar as replacement for Salihijo, he appointed three others, including Ganduje’s son as the new Executive Directors of the Agency.

The other two new directors are: Ayoade Gboyega — Executive Director, Corporate Services; and Doris Uboh — Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund (REF).

Salhijo, who was appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019, was suspended alongside three directors who worked with him.

The directors are Olaniyi Alaba Netufo — Executive Director, Corporate Services; Barka Sajou — Executive Director, Technical Services; and Sa’adatu Balgore — Executive Director, Rural Electrification Fund (REF).

Tinubu also ordered a wider investigation into the conduct of the former management team of REA over “a fraudulent misexpenditure amounting to over N1.2 billion over the past two years”.

According to Ajuri Ngelale, presidential spokesman, some of the misappropriated funds have already been recovered by anti-graft agencies.

The new Technical Director of REA was actively involved in the 2023 elections. After his father withdrew from the senate race, the younger Ganduje was encouraged to vie for the House of Reps seat.

He had won the APC ticket for Dawakin Tofa/Tofa /Rimin Gado constituency, but lost to the New Nigerian Peoples Party’s Hon Tijjani Jobe, a ranking lawmaker.

Engr Umar, who had previously worked at the Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), is very close to his father. He played a key role in Tinubu/Shettima campaign, especially in the youth wing.