– By TonyeBarcanista
On November 4, 2017 the Presidency released names of 157 (wrongly calculated 159) political appointees appointed by the President with aim of dispelling a previous report that 80% appointees are from the Northern part of the country.
After going through the list I realise that the aim of Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser (media) that released the list was not to inform but to deceive and manipulate the minds of many Nigerians into believing that the government is non sectional. This writeup is meant to bring to fore the hidden fact about the sectionalism of President Muhammadu Buhari led government.
QUALITY VS QUANTITY:
Every exposed mind know that the President of the United States of America, President of Russia Federation, Chancellor of Germany, Prime Minister of Britain, President of France and even Prime Minister of Canada are never considered as equivalent or equal to a President of any African country (Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa etc), South and Central America countries or Eastern European countries, though they are all Presidents/Head of Governments of sovereign countries. In fact, this classification is evident in the 15 member United Nations Security Council UNSC, where 5 Permanent members (United States of America, Russia, China, France and United Kingdom) have the final say in ANY resolution that affects the body over the other 10 members (temporary). The UNSC is the most powerful organ of the United Nations.
Similarly, in Nigeria’s public service, not all ministries, departments and agencies are considered ‘equal’ or equivalent. The ministers of Defence, Interior, Works/Power/Housing, Justice/AGF and Petroleum resources are not in the same class with ministers of Trade/Investment, Science/Technology, Sport/Youth development, Tourism and Women Affairs, though all are ‘ministers’ in the cabinet. This is same way the Group Managing Director of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) cannot be said to be in same class with someone in charge of Nigeria Christian Pilgrimage Board.
What is traditional in Nigeria is that QUALITY is factored when fairness in appointment is analysed over QUANTITY (just like in anywhere else).
In fact, I remember in February 2010 when the newly appointed acting President Goodluck Jonathan tookover, he “demoted” the then Attorney General/Minister of Justice Michael Aaondooka to Minister of Special duties, and “upgraded” Mrs Alison Diezani Madueke from Transport minister to Petroleum Minister. Only the insincere minds will disagree with me on this.
FACT ON BUHARI’S SECTIONAL APPOINTMENTS
When some of us accuse the President of being sectional in his appointment, we are simply saying the President only appoint his kinsmen in KEY/INFLUENTIAL/QUALITY positions to dominate key sectors without recourse to the Federal Character Commission. In fact, even the Federal Character Commission has no federal character- else how would a President from the Northwest appoint Alhaji Shettima Abba and Mohammed Tukur from Northeast as Chairman and Secretary of FCC respectively?
A look at the Presidency shows clear act of ethnic/regional supremacism of the President. Apart from Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who is from the Southwest and was elected alongside Buhari, the other TWO top positions are occupied by the Northeast. I mean the influential office of Chief of Staff that is occupied by Abba Kyari and Secretary to the Government of the Federation occupied by Mustapha Boss, both of the Northeast.
In the Defence/Military sector, the only positions given the south are the ceremonial Chief of Defence Staff (Abayomi Olonisakin from the Southwest) and Chief of Naval Staff (SouthSouth). The others were given to the North.
Buhari appointed General Babagana Monguno from the Northeast as National Security Adviser (NSA), Tukur Buratai from Northeast as Chief of Army Staff and Sadiq Abubakar from the same Northeast as Chief of Air Staff. This is in addition to himself from Northwest as Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, Dan Ali from the Northwest (Kano) as minister of Defence, Monday Morgan from Northcentral as Chief Defence Intelligence and Brigadier-General Musa Yusuf as Commander Brigade of Guard. In fact, he left NOTHING for the Southeast. If this isn’t lopsided then someone need to enrol for English class.
In the internal security, the President was more brutal in his lopsidedness than he was in the Defence.
The Interior Minister, who’s the boss of all is Dr. Abdulrahman Dambazzau from Northwest, the Inspector General of Police is Ibrahim Idris from Niger state (North central), the Comptroller-General of Prison is Ahmed Jafaru from Kebbi (Northwest), Immigration is Mohammed Babadende from Jigawa (Northwest) and Abdullahi Muhammadu from North central heads Civil Defence. No paramilitary agency under the Interior is headed by a non-northerner.
Despite the above, Buhari still appointed Northerners as EFCC Boss (Ibrahim Magu from Northeast), DSS Boss (Lawal Daura from Katsina Northwest) and Custom Boss (Hameed Ali from Northwest).
Furthermore, Buhari craftily ensured that the Petroleum sector, which is Nigeria main revenue sector is in the grip of the North. This he did by appointing himself from the Northwest as Honourable Minister and Maikanti Baru from Northeast as GMD. He trickishly gave Dr Ibe Kachukwu from SouthSouth the position of minister of state, an office everyone know is synonymous to minister without portfolio.
Even within the NNPC there are 7 Chief operating Officers, and of the 7, Northwest occupies 3, northcentral 1, while the southwest,southeast and SouthSouth have 1 each. Despite this, he still appointed Bello Gusau from North central as Executive Secretary PTDF, Isiaka Abdulrasak from North central as Chief Financial officer of NNPC and Modicai Ladan from same North central as Director, Department for Petroleum Resources. I dare not forget that the Head of Petroleum Product Pricing and Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) is Abdukkadir Umar.
In FAAN, Baba Appointed Saleh Danjuma from Northeast Managing director/CEO and still appointed 3 Executive Directors from Northwest alone while the Southwest, Southeast and SouthSouth have 1 ED each.
I am certain that readers will be bored if I am to write extensively on the lopsidedness in appointment in all KEY sectors of the country.
I find it absurd that Femi Adesina will lump every appointees into one as if they are of same worth, influence, value and weight. If not to deceive how would Mr Femi lump the appointment of National Security Adviser, SGF, Chief of Staff, COAS with Registrar CAC, Senior Special Assistant (Diaspora), Senior Special Assistant (National Assembly), SA Economy, MD BOA into one category?
I am ending this piece by calling on the president to take a cue from the late Umaru Musa Yar’adua, his kinsman from the same Katsina state who never allowed tribal and religious affiliation overshadow his sense of judgement. If he feels too big to learn from Yar’adua, then he should learn from the late nationalist Aminu Kano.
May God Bless Us All And Bless Nigeria
Peoples Democratic Party National Youth League (PDPNYL)
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