A careful look at the various appointments made so far by President Muhammadu Buhari show that he is bent on ensuring that the north continues to dominate the entire country. This indeed, will not promote unity and peaceful coexistence. But I am not surprise at the actions of Mr. President because he is known to be a clannish, tribal and nepotistic bigot! He considers himself and his northern people as those that own the country and will do everything within his power to please the northern hegemony.The appointments made so far are a repeat of history. This is so because as a military head of state in 1983, he appointed 12 military governors from the north as against the seven military governors he appointed from the entire south. At that time, there were 19 states in the country; the north had ten states while the south had nine states. In addition, of the fifteen ministers in his government, nine of them were of northern extraction while only six of them were from the south. Above that, his deputy, late Maj-Gen. Tunde Idiagbo was also a northerner and a Muslim like him. The same desire to dominate the south prompted northern military leaders to create two more states above those in the south under the illusion that the north is more populated than the south; this is erroneous. Agreed, the north has more land mass than the south but a large land mass is not the same as large population.
Since Buhari assumed office on May 29, he has made 35 appointments and 24 of the juicy positions are from the north; leaving only 11 slots for the entire south! Though, space and time constraints will not permit the listing of all the appointments but for the purpose of clarity a few of the appointments will be mentioned here. Babachir David Lawal, Secretary to the Federal Government, Mr. Abba Kyari, Chief of Staff; Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service and Mr. Kure Martin Abeshi, Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service. Before these recent appointments, he had made other appointments such as those of Maj-Gen. Turku Buratai, Chief of Army Staff; Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar, Chief Air of Staff; Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (rtd), National Security Adviser; Air Vice Marshal Monday Riku Morgan, Chief of Defence Intelligence; Mr. Lawal Daura, Director-General of State Security Services; Mrs. Amina Zakari, Acting Chairman of Independent National Electoral Commission and Mr. Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan, Director, Department of Petroleum Resources.
Also appointed include Alhaji Ahmed Idris, Accountant-General of the Federation; Abdulrahman Mani, Chief Security Officer; Mallam Abdullahi Kazaure, State Chief of Protocol; Lt. Col. Muhammed Abubakar Lawal, Aide-De-Camp and Mallam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity. Others are Mr. Haruna Baba Jauro, Acting Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA); Mr. Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, Commandant-General of Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps; Mr. Aliyu Yahaya Gusau, Director-General of Budget Office; Mr. Habib Abdullahi, Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority; Alhaji Mohammed Kari, Commissioner for Insurance and Chief Executive of National Insurance Commission (NAICOM); Ahmed Lawan Kuru, Managing Director of Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and Umaru Dambatta, Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Communications Commission; Mr. Suleiman Kawu, Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives); Mr. Aminu Ismail, Executive Director of Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON); Mr. Maikanti Baru, Group Executive Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Mr. Isiaka Abdulrazaq, Group Executive Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
All the appointments stated above are from the northern part of the country. Now, let us see the appointments given to the entire south of the country. Mr. Femi Adesina, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity; Maj-Gen. Abayomi Olonishakin, Chief of Defence Staff; Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, Chief of Navy of Staff; Maj-Gen. Paul Boroh, Special Adviser on Niger Delta Amnesty Office; Mr. Babatunde Fowler, Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service; Mr. Emmanuel Kachukwu, Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Senator Ita Enang, Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters (Senate); Mr. Kola Ayeye, Executive Director of Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, Mr. Eberechukwu Uneze, Executive Director of Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria; Mr. Dennis Nnamdi Ajulu, Group Executive Director, NNPC and Mr. Babatunde Victor Adeniran, Group Executive Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Is it not worrisome that the positions which were hitherto occupied by southerners have been assigned to northerners? For instance, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), Nigerian Communication Commission (NCC), State Security Services (SSS) and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) etc. which were formerly occupied by southerners have been given to northerners by President Buhari!
According to Buhari, the appointments were made based on merit, competence and integrity. But the questions plaguing the disconcerted minds of some discerning Nigerians are: (1) Do merit and competence reside only in the northern part of Nigeria? (2) Are there no people with merit and competence in the southern part of the country? (3) Will these appointments promote unity and peaceful coexistence? (4) Are there no people of integrity in the entire southern part of the country? What is the justification for these provocative and lopsided appointments? A nation gradually drifts into chaos and anarchy when some citizens perceive themselves as superiors but see others as hewers of wood and fetchers of water.