Thursday, 3 September 2015

President Buhari And The Repeat of History (2)

                          President Muhammadu Buhari
Some diehard followers of Buhari who think that he is infallible said he can make all his appointments from the north as long as they are made on merit, competence, integrity and they can do the job. To these ignoramuses, I ask, is merit limited to the north? Is merit an exclusive preserve of the north? How do they define merit? If they are talking about integrity, are people of integrity limited to the north? There are men and women of integrity across the country.
If they are talking about integrity, they should remember Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, the former Secretary of Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) who rejected all financial inducements and fought the illegitimate and draconian administration of  late General Sani to a standstill during the June 12 crisis! He almost lost his life in the struggle to enthrone democracy in this country. Since Nigeria returned to democracy in 1999, no administration remembered him for the vital role he played in the enthronement of democracy. If President Buhari appoints Chief Frank Ovie Kokori and his likes, then Nigerians will believe that he is truly looking for men of integrity to run the government with him; anything short of this is simply nepotism.

What President Buhari has done so far in regards to his appointments is the promotion of nepotism which has always been his trademark. If it is all about merit and competence as he and his sycophants want to have us believe, he will get more people with merit and competence from the south. This is so because southerners are more educated than northerners having gotten education 90 years ahead of the north! Also, the South-West is the most educated zone in the country; if he had appointed more people from the South-West nobody would have raised an eyebrow because that is not the zone of President Buhari! But as things are now, Buhari cannot convince Nigerians that he is not promoting nepotism. What is playing out in this administration is the subtle actualisation of the slogan that northerners are born to rule and their desire to conquer the south by whatever means. But can the north really conquer the south? Does any part of the country needs to be conquered by the other or we should promote unity that will encourage a holistic development?     

 The uninformed followers of Buhari also said he can make all his appointments from the north because according to them, former President Goodluck Jonathan also appointed more people from the South-South during his tenure. This is fallacy and falsehood because former President Jonathan in a bid to get re-elected, appointed more people from the entire North, South-West and South-East in order to court their favour and support. Also, he executed more projects in the north than in the South-South.  How many people from the South-South were in the administration of ex-President Jonathan? Let us assume that Jonathan actually appointed more people from the South-South, will it be right for this administration that came into office with the mantra of change to do same? If it will be business as usual, where is the change the APC promised Nigerians during the campaigns?

Is it not expedient that since the north has the President, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives, the north should concede other major appointments to the south for the purpose of equity and peaceful coexistence? It has never happened in the history of this country for one geo-political zone to produce the President, Senate President and Speaker of the House of Representatives! This is an aberration and abuse of democracy. Though, the north has always been known for its domineering posture, it has never been so pronounced as it is in this administration being led by Mr. Buhari. The worry of this writer and other concerned Nigerians is that, after these lopsided appointments, it is still the south that will provide the funds needed to run the lopsided appointments and government. These were some of the fears envisaged by some discerning Nigerians about the presidential aspiration of Buhari during the campaigns. Are the fears of those Nigerians not being confirmed by these obnoxious and vexatious appointments? These appointments are also a fulfilment of the threat by Mr. President when he said, “Going by elections results, constituencies that gave me 97% cannot in all honesty be treated, on some issues, with constituencies that gave me 5%. I think these are political realities. While, certainly there will be justice for everybody but the people who voted, and made their votes count, they must feel the government has appreciated the effort they put in putting the government the effort they put in putting the government in place. I think this is really fair.”

From the foregoing, is President Buhari insinuating that he is the President of only those who voted him into office? If that is what he implies, is he also saying that those who didn’t vote for him are free to secede from the country? All over the world, once elections are over, the elected person becomes the president for everybody and for the whole country; there is no preferential treatment of the citizenry by the president.  

President Buhari should do the needful and correct the abnormal appointments so as not to confirm the fears expressed by some Nigerians about him during the campaigns. Merit, competence and integrity are not limited to the north. There are men and women who have merit, competence and integrity across the country. There is no justification for all the appointments to go to the north under the guise of looking for merit, competence and integrity.   

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