US President Donald Trump announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he is dissolving the Strategic and Policy Forum. This meant the firing of all its members, including Nigerian-born Adebayo Ogunlesi.
The Strategic and Policy Forum is a council of business leaders who advise the president on the economy. The Vanguard reports that Mr. Ogunlesi, the only African on the forum, was appointed by Trump last Dovember.
His company, Global Infrastructure Partners is a private equity firm and a Fortune 500 company that owns a majority stake in London’s Gatwick Airport. He also serves on the board of the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.
The Strategic and Policy Forum was one of the two advisory councils disbanded by President Trump on Wednesday. The other was the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative Council. President Trump announced the dissolution of both panels via a twitter post.
In the tweet, President Trump claimed he was dissolving both panels because he did not want to put pressure on the business leaders who were members of both the manufacturing council and strategy and policy forum.
But reports by The New York Times claim that President Trump’s sudden dissolution of the advisory councils was meant to pre-empt a mass resignation by its members.
President’s Trump’s refusal to outrightly condemn a recent rally by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia sparked widespread condemnation from all sides of the American political and business establishment.
Outraged by Trump’s bigotry, key members of the Strategic and Policy Forum were already considering resigning their appointments, with Kenneth Frazier (Merck), Kevin Plank (Under Armour) and Brian Krzanich (Intel) of the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative Council having reportedly handed in their resignation.
A day before he announced the dissolution of the both forums, Trump disparaged the members who resigned, tweeting this:
“For every CEO that drops out of the manufacturing council, I have many to take their place. Grandstanders should not have gone on. Jobs!”
Other notable members of the recently dissolved forum include Stephen Schwarzman, CEO and cofounder of Blackstone, Paul Atkins, CEO of Patomak Global Partners, Mary Barra, CEO of General Motors and Jamie Dimon, CEO, JPMorgan Chase & Co.