Published On: Thu, Sep 3rd, 2015

Northernisation of Buhari’s government

Last week’s appointment by President Muhammadu Buhari of his kitchen cabinet has closed the possibility of his running an inclusive government. Without any pretensions, he has declared unapologetically that this is a government of the north by the north, and possibly, for the north. It is not about the motive and intention as some otherwise intelligent southerners posit; it is about visible evidence on the ground. Action, it is said, speaks louder the voice.

At no other time in our history has the government been so dangerously skewed in favour of a part of the country than now. Any leader with some measure or modicum of sensibility would have deliberately tried to ameliorate such lopsidedness in government. But not this president; he still went ahead to rob it in daring even those who laboured against all odds including sacrificing their own political future and interest of their people to make him president. This is a betrayal of trust and regrettable.

Many South Westerners, especially in the media, seem to be indifferent to this development on the basis that trust and competence should be put above balancing and federal character in appointments of top aides. Yet, some notable Northern leaders, like Alhajis Balarabe Musa and Tanko Yakassi, have expressed concern and reservations over this. It is, therefore, shameful for any Southerner to justify such appointments.

The simple truth is that President Buhari is pursuing a warped and discriminatory agenda, which no Southern president, even the great Obasanjo, could and can contemplate. Look at the hoopla the North made about composition of the delegates to the last national conference, an excuse they have continued to raise as basis to reject the report.

One is amused by the argument of some youthful Southern APC supporters of PMB for their apparent ignorance and political naivety who are living in denial of the unfolding Northernisation of Nigeria, perhaps to continue to rationalize their support for him in the election. Ironically, the South which for long has borne the indignity of quota and federal character to avoid dominance of government by a section is now a willing victim of it. What the North has rejected Buhari wants the South to accept.

My worry in this unquestioned Southern support for PMB is the danger to our democracy because it is the South with its control of the media and civil society groups that can stop the emergence of a dictatorship, a role we seem to be abdicating. We can complain all we can about the failure of Southern leaders in the past 16 years but it is no justification to abandon our democracy and federal system of government predicated on ethnic, regional and religious multiplicity and balancing.

Arguments that PMB is only interested in competence and integrity in his appointments are naïve, illogical and patently false. Between the North and South there should be proportionally more competent and merit oriented people in the South given education, training and exposure? Why do we have quota system and federal character in recruitment, admission and appointments, which lowers standard and competition for the North?

Prof. Ango Abdullahi was less than 10 years as a Ph.D when he was made vice chancellor of ABU, Zaria, above Southerners who were already professors before he earned his doctorate degree. Prof. Chukwuma Soludo introduced competition and performance test for promotion and recruitment in CBN when he was governor, which Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II promptly scrapped because it favoured the South. When former finance minister, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, conducted merit and performance based recruitment test for the Nigerian Sovereign Wealth Authority, Southerners came first to fifth.

We have had situations where Southern JAMB candidates with 220 points were rejected in a university that admitted Northern candidates with only 140 points. For any competent Northerner, there are ten Southerners. Sanusi was only six months old as managing director of First Bank when he became CBN governor when there are Southerners who had put in ten years.

For instance, what is the background and competence of Alhaji Abba Kyari, the new Chief of Staff to the president; a former managing director of UBA? True! But he had no executive powers. He was Mr. Hakeem Belo-Osagie’s yes-man, who was executive vice chairman and only put him there to placate Gen. Sani Abacha.

Besides his largely sinecure position in UBA, what else has he done to talk of performance? It is insulting to talk about integrity as a criterion for appointment as if corruption is only characteristic of the South.

So, the argument of competence is first dishonest and secondly a lie. There is no way the North can dominate the South on the basis of performance; it is not historically and empirically founded. The question should be why is it only in the appointments by PMB? If we have suddenly discovered the wisdom in merit and competence in the change tradition, let us scrap quota system and federal character and see who will complain. It is all hogwash!

It is absolutely nonsensical to assume remotely that there are no competent and even better Southerners for any of the appointments made last week. It is sheer absurdity to suggest as presidential spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, did that there are over a thousand other appointments to be made by the president. For a man who is a respected journalist and led his professional group, and expected to understand the dynamics of Nigerian politics, this is incredibly preposterous and ludicrous.

Which other appointments are left, may be like the one given to Senator Ita Enang, as presidential liaison officer? In real and practical terms, there are only three positions of any significance left. These are finance, chief economic adviser (CEA) and petroleum. Of these, only finance and perhaps, CEA may go to the South, because the North has already taken petroleum with the appointment of Dr. Ibe Kachukwu as GMD of NNPC.

In terms of power and strategic influence, there are just about a dozen positions in government, namely, SGF, chief of staff, COAS, IGP, DG DSS, petroleum, NNPC, finance, CBN, INEC, NSA and CEA. For agencies, we have DPR, NPA, NIMASA, FIRS, AMCON, Customs, and NCC. Out of 12 government positions only three are Southerners, CBN, NNPC and IGP; and only NNPC was appointed by him. As for agencies, only Mr. Tunde Fowler of FIRS is from the South. So, which other positions will be used to balance these appointments; information, education or even works?

Now, add this insult to the injury, which obviously cannot be attributed to him, where the three arms of government – executive, legislature and judiciary – are headed by Northerners, the first in the history of the nation. Political consideration and sensibility would have demanded that given the already disquietingly disproportionate and lopsided dominance of government by the North, extreme care should have been employed to mitigate it. But what do we have?

Some say PMB means well. How so? Whose well does he mean? He could not mean well for Nigeria, which is multi-ethnic and religious, a fact enshrined in the constitution, when he is surrounded by only his own people. Well-meaning cannot be defined by the North because that is what is applied when all his close advisers are Northerners – people he meets every day. Where is the Southern view in shaping his perspective on policy? We can only accept that if we agree that what is good for the North is willy-nilly good for Nigeria.

 

© 2015, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article.

Reactions from Facebook

comments and opinions

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • China offshore oil coy to invest $3bn in Nigeria

    The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is to invest an additional three billion dollars in its existing stakes in offshore oil and gas operations in Nigeria. Mr Ndu Ughamadu, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spokesman said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja. Ughamadu said Mr Yuan Guangyu, the Chief Executive Officer […]

  • Ecobank risk assets deteriorate as Kie bows out

    By FELIX OLOYEDE The exit of Ecobank Nigeria’s erstwhile Managing Director, Charles Kie, has raised a groundswell of speculation in the financial community as sector analysts believe that his exit was abrupt, untimely and suspicious. Over a period of two years, Kie had succeeded in reversing the banks bedraggled balance sheet and profit and loss […]

  • Blood, blood everywhere: Herdsmen, rustlers on the rampage

    –  Violence, a well-articulated plot to grab land – Expert  By AYOOLA OLAOLUWA Nigeria is gradually descending into a Hobbesian state with the growing killings in the Middle Belt, in addition to the destruction of lives and properties in the North West and Boko Haram insurgency in the North East. Defenseless citizens are being killed like […]

  • 2018 budget in jeopardy

    . Delay alone has reduced performance by 13% – Experts By UCHE CHRIS In all likelihood the 2018 budget will end like the three previous budgets of the President Buhari administration: a failure. Having been passed seven months after its presentation and half year gone; and with all the controversies surrounding its passage by the […]

  • MTN to miss market listing target

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU A weak domestic economy in Nigeria may force telecommunications giant MTN to shift its earlier proposed August 2018 date for a local listing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). Analysts believe that the date shift will allow the parties to the Offer plan a more successful listing arrangement that would guaranty full […]

  • APC crises deepens: Amaechi battles for relevance, Modu-Sheriff is new strongman

    By OBINNA EZUGWU Key actors in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) managed to keep up appearance to allow for a smooth transition at the party’s recently held national convention. Except for the exchange of blows among Imo and Delta States delegates, the convention was largely a success. But beneath the facade of orderliness, tensions […]

  • INEC declares Fayemi governor-elect in Ekiti

    The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared Kayode Fayemi of the All Progressive Congress (APC) winner of the Ekiti Governorship Election held on Saturday. INEC’s Chief Returning Officer for the election, Professor Idowu Olayinka declared the result on Sunday. According to the Returning Officer, Kayode got 197,459 votes to defeat the Deputy Governor of […]

  • President Muhammadu Buhari said on Wednesday that Nigeria will soon sign up to a $3 trillion African free-trade agreement. Nigeria is one of Africa’s two largest economies, the other being South Africa. Buhari’s government had refused to join a continental free-trade zone established in March, on the grounds that it wishes to defend its own […]

  • PDP meets Obasanjo for advice on how to beat Buhari in 2019 polls

    The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) will meet with former President Olusegun Obasanjo in Abeokuta on Saturday to seek advice on how to achieve victory in the 2019 polls and beat incumbent Muhammadu Buhari. The National Chairman of PDP, Uche Secondus, made this known in Abeokuta while addressing journalists after a […]

  • GTBank Launches Social Impact Challenge, Aims to Fund Community Development Projects Nationwide

    Following more than two decades of consistent investment in community development, Guaranty Trust Bank plc is taking its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) another step further by launching a Social Impact Challenge that will fund dozens of innovative ideas designed and executed by members of the general public. Tagged #SimpleChangeBigImpact, the Social Impact Challenge invites individuals […]

  • Akpobome gives indigent girls educational lifeline

    Akpobome gives indigent girl The hope of indigent girls who have been struggling with their education has been rekindled as Mrs. Mary Akpobome, former executive director, Heritage Bank and her husband,  Mr. Atunyota Akpobome, fondly called Alli-Baba have jointly floated The Purple Girl Foundation with the purpose  of helping them live their dreams. Giving reasons […]

  • Buhari’s NLNG signature project back on track

    President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the board, management, staff and shareholders of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas company (NLNG), the NNPC and other Joint Venture partners, Shell, Total and AGIP on the signing of the contracts for the Front End Engineering Design (FFED) of Train 7 of the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Project. The President […]

  • Buhari creates unit to snoop on illegal money transfers

    President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit bill (NFIU) 2018 into law, creating a body that will henceforth monitor illegal money transfers and money laundering. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Sen. Ita Enang, confirmed this development while briefing State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday. […]

  • NCC wades into MTN’s labour issues

    The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on Monday said the organisation has opened talks with critical stakeholders on MTN’s labour issues. Mr Tony Ojobo, NCC’s Director of Public Affairs, made this known in a statement by in Abuja. “NCC under the leadership of Prof. Umar Danbatta has opened talks with other critical stakeholders  through the office of […]

  • Weak purchasing power responsible for slowing inflation rate, says Chukwu

    FELIX OLOYEDE The continuous decelerating inflation rate in the country was largely due to weak purchasing power amongst Nigerians, said Johnson Chukwu, Managing Director, Cowry Asset Management Ltd. Speaking on the theme: “Economy: H1 2018 review and prospect for year end” at the second edition of the Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA) Cohort 4 quarterly […]

  • Global outrage grows over incessant herdsmen killings

    …there is anarchy in the land – Utomi   By OBINNA EZUGWU The incessant killings in Nigeria by Fulani herdsmen seem to attracting more global attention as U.S. and U.K. have taken the government to task to stop it. During his recent visit to the U.S. by President Buhari, American President Donald had expressed concern […]