This past week, Nigerians have voiced their displeasure over what they considered to be a “loop-sided” appointments made by the President, Muhammadu Buhari, since he came to power. The phrase “federal character” trended on Twitter for several hours as concerned citizens insisted that Mr. President’s appointments didn’t reflect this sharing formular.
Before I express my opinion, let me state categorically, that I’m neither a PDP supporter, nor an APC loyalist. We live in a country where it is extremely hard to express your opinion without being labeled a “voltron.” Some will be less charitable by calling you an “ethnic bigot.” So, it’s necessary for me to state that I’m neither any of these, but a concerned, patriotic and objective citizen of the Federal Republic.
Mr. President has made 30 appointments since he resumed office, and so far, only 7 are from the Southern part of the country, while the remaining 23 are from the North! On a North/South basis, the North has taken 77% of the positions while the South has 23%. When we break it down to each of the six geo-political zones, the President’s zone, North-West, with 13 positions has 43% of the appointments, North-East(6) has 20%, South South(5) has 17%, North-Central(3) has 10%, South-West, also with 3 positions, has 10%, while South-East(Ndigbo), with no position, has 0%!
We can now see that the South-East has been marginalised! This makes meaning of what Mr. President said while he was on a visit to Washington DC. Mr. Buhari said he shouldn’t be expected to treat those who gave him 5% votes the same way he would treat those who gave him 97% votes. I want to remind him that he didn’t sign up to become the President of the 97% or a certain region of the country, but the President of NIGERIA! The “97% and 5%” remark from Mr. President is, to say the least, shameful! He’s clearly holding the Tiger by the tail!
I think Mr. President is not following the concept of “federal character.” Let me also state that “federal character” is not an “opposition tool” in the hands of the “wailing wailers” but a constitutional sharing formular meant to maintain the unity of the country. Mr. Buhari has a duty to obey the constitution at all times.
Most people would want to argue that he made these appointments base on competence. While this is a good point, one wonders if there are no competent people in the South-East. Why are most of the “competent” people coming from the North? It would be hard, even for the most vapid Buharist, not to accuse Mr. President of trying to carry out a “Northern agenda.”
Nigeria, as a country, hasn’t grown above ethnic politics. It would be stupid for anyone not to recognise this fact. Mr. President has to acknowledge this fact too, and learn to spread political offices to COMPETENT people across ALL REGIONS of the country. I want to advice Mr. President to stop holding the Tiger by the tail before he or Nigeria ends up in the belly of the beast!
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