Buhari: Neither Federal Character Nor Equity
The presidential system of government which we operate is very powerful as enormous power is invested on the president of the country. The constitution, the fundamental law that underpins the government also makes provision for the implementation of federal character in all appointments. The framers of the constitution in their wisdom envisaged that a president could derail and pander to the ethnic whims and caprices of his people. This is exactly the situation with President Muhammadu Buhari in his various appointments. Many people in the country especially in the south are sorely disappointed as most appointments favour the northern part of the country. Let the president be reminded that he is the president of the whole country and every part of the country should be treated as his constituency. Apart from ministers which the constitution maintains that every state should have a representation, the other appointments are skewed in favour of the north.
If you think that this piece is an armed chair journalistic speculations and conjectures, then read the following list. Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), the comptroller General of the Nigerian Customs is from Bauchi State, Mr. Muhammad Babendede, the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service hails from Jigawa State and Mr. Muhammed Nami, chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue is also from the north. Hadiza Usman, managing-director of the Nigerian Ports Authority is from Kaduna State, Mele Kyari, the group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation comes from Bornu State, Umaru Ibrahim, the Managing Director and CEO of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation hails from Kano State and Boboye Oyeyemi, the Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps is from Kwara State.
On security appointments, the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Tukur Buratai is from Bornu State, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar hails from Bauchi, and the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu comes Nasarawa State. Others are Abdullahi Muhammadu, Commandant –General of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps, Niger State, Ja`afaru Ahmed, Controller General of the Nigerian Correctional service comes from Kebbi State and the director general of DSS Yusuf Magaji Bichi also comes from Kano State. These appointments by any stretch of imagination or political postulation are very far from equity and federal character.
Even the media handlers of Buhari cannot defend this injustice in the various appointments mentioned. The president is not likely to correct this anomaly in the nearest future and we have to live with this political wart that will continue to question our existence as a federation. Definitely history and posterity shall judge the present holders of political office.
The sentiment of the PDP national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan is like blowing the wind. However, history will judge the PDP that in a defining moment of our history, spoke on the side of equity. Hear Ologbondiyan: `What our party will advise is to tell Mr. President that on the issue of appointment, he should be guided by the oath of office he swore to. He should ensure the principle of fairness remains the guiding light in deciding who assumes what position in the federation. It is all applicable to all appointments under Mr. President`.
When a president believes that only capable and efficient people that can hold public office are from his own ethnic group, the very foundation of our federation and unity is under strain. Great nations are not built by pandering to ethnic considerations and disdaining national aspirations. The United States of America is called the melting pot of the world because of premium placed on equity and fairness in the distribution of public appointments. There might not be changes very soon in such national appointments but let us place it on record. All the same, Merry Xmas to you.
Julius Oweh, a journalist, Asaba, Delta State.