Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Mystifying Ministerial Appointments


                      President Muhammadu Buhari
 The appointment of ministers which was a commonplace and conventional action taken by previous presidents has suddenly become a mystery under President Muhammadu Buhari. Countless reasons have been adduced for the delay in appointing the ministers. First, President Buhari said there was so much rot in the ministries and that he needed time to cleanse the rot before he could appoint new ministers.
Therefore, in an attempt to cleanse the ministries, he is to study them through the assistance of the permanent secretaries. Each permanent secretary is to educate Mr. President on what the ministry they represent does. But is it not appalling that the permanent secretaries are the ones to educate the President on what their ministries do? President Buhari is not a stranger in Nigeria; he is never a neophyte when it comes to governance as he was the military governor of the defunct North-Eastern State. In addition, he was a petroleum minister and he crowned his leadership role as a military head of state having dethroned former President Shehu Shagari in a palace coup in 1983. At a time, he was also chairman of the defunct Petroleum Trust Fund. One question that flusters the minds of Nigerians is, does it mean Buhari didn’t acquaint himself with the workings and functions of each ministry when he held sway in the various positions mentioned above? Does it also mean that Buhari must be elected president before he could know what each ministry does?
Again, why will it take Buhari a whole four to study the ministries in order to understand what their functions are? Second, are ministers more corrupt than the permanent secretaries that their appointments should be delayed? Is it not the permanent secretaries that tutor the ministers on how to falsify contract sums and the likes? Does it mean if Gen. Muhammadu Buhari was not elected President he wouldn’t know the functions and workings of the various ministries in this country? If a graduate from any Nigerian University says he doesn’t know the functions of the varied ministries in this country and that he needs the permanent secretaries to educate him for four months before he could know their functions won’t Nigerians say it is due to the current fallen standards of education in the country that is why a “whole graduate” doesn’t know the functions of the ministries?
Buhari promised to appoint his ministers in September which has come and gone but has he appointed his ministers? Why did Mr. President wait till the last day of September before sending his ministerial nominees to the National Assembly for screening? Why did Buhari send the names of only 21 nominees in the first instance instead of 36 nominees? Was four months not enough for Buhari to have chosen his nominees? Can we say with sincerity of heart that President Buhari has appointed his ministers by mere sending the names of his nominees to the National Assembly at the end of September and early October? Has Buhari kept his promise to appoint his ministers within four months in office? Has President Buhari not lied to Nigerians by not appointing his ministers in September as he promised? Is Buhari still a man of integrity since he failed to appoint his ministers in September? Can we say the ministerial nominees worth the waiting period?
But is it not bothersome that Buhari, who was born and bred in this country; a septuagenarian who has never lived outside this country, would need four months to search for honest men and women as his ministers? The search for ministers has been raised to the pinnacle of a rock science; it has become the search for gold and diamond where men excavate many miles into the ground to unearth these substances. But if it takes President Buhari four months just to appoint his ministers that don’t require creativity, innovation or task on the intelligence, how long will it take him to create ideas for the generation of alternative power? How long will it cause him to create ideas to generate alternative revenues? How long will it cause him to create ideas that will assist in diversifying the economy? How long will it take him to create ideas on how to overcome insurgency and crimes that are bedevilling the country at the moment? 
The failure of Buhari to appoint his ministers after four months in office is an affirmation that Africans don’t place emphasise on time. Buhari has only four years to deliver the promises he made to Nigerians but he has wasted almost five months in search for saintly ministers! Thus, Buhari is left with only three years and seven months to fulfil his campaign promises. But if almost five months can be wasted in searching for ministers, it means Buhari lacks direction, focus and vision. It is so because many Nigerians are of the opinion that a four year tenure is not enough to execute meaningful developments so wasting a whole four months in search for the proverbial angelic ministers is an unwise decision.      
The mystification of ministerial appointments is not necessary. President Buhari has unadvisedly wasted almost five months of his four years tenure in search for incorruptible ministers. After the confirmation of his ministerial nominees he should use the remaining three years and seven months in the development of the country. Nigerians have been patience with him, he will have no excuse for failure at the end of his four years in office.  


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