Jonathan's Reforms: Ethnic Cleansing?


I think it is tragic in strategic thinking for any politician to take advantage through adversity of a sensitive issue like federal Character. Evens of recent indicate that President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is on a suicide mission.

After President Jonathan confessed to Igbo leaders in Aso Rock recently that Northerners did not vote for him in the 2011 general elections but Igbos resident in the region, I became worried over the seemingly reckless but potentially dangerous political statement whose repercussion is to leave a lasting legacy on the minds and psyche of the ordinary Northerner.

Just within the last one month or so, many Northerners were systematically removed by the president without any reason given to justify such actions. In a move that was considered as lacking in political dynamism but overwhelmed by professional hollowness, we saw how the presidency retired Brigadier General Maharazu Tsiga.

In his sojourn as the Director-General of the National Youth Service Corp, (NYSC), General Tsiga was a dynamic and result oriented officer who performed optimally to the delight of both the staff and participants of the NYSC.

He was reputed to have turned around the fortunes of the NYSC by placing emphasis on human capital development, where both the Senior and Junior staff of the organization was sent on training for capacity building. He gave out housing loan to workers and improved Corp member's allowances from N9,750.00 to N19,500.00.

He tackled the issue of decayed infrastructure in NYSC and had an open door policy that ensured the carrying along of all staff for the implementation of vibrant policies of the organization. Inspite of so many achievements of Tsiga which could not be accommodated in this write-up, he was recently removed.

As the seat of government and 'home' to the president, the Federal Capital Territory is very strategic in national development. The recent removal of the FCT Commissioner of Police, Mr. John Haruna from Taraba, only to be replaced by the President's cousin Mr. Mike Zoukumor is raising serious concern among leaders of thought in the region.

As the Commissioner of Police of the FCT, John Haruna was a diligent, dedicated and hardworking officer who became a nightmare and a reference point to criminals and criminality. With his team of dedicated officers, he was on top of security situation in the FCT and that could be the reason why several awards from non-governmental organizations and the media came to him.

A common dictum pervades the atmosphere that 'you don't change a winning team' Mr. John was recently removed as FCT Commissioner and has since assumed duty at the Force Headquarters where he attends to files of policemen instead of serious operational duties.

Just last month, the president again descended on the North like a tornado. He silently removed the hardworking and result oriented Managing Director of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) Engineer Kabir Abdullahi. The Former MD was replaced by an Assistant Director in the agency and a Niger-Deltan Engr. G. C. Amuchi.

Though not the most senior staff  in the agency to replace Abdullahi, Amuchi's only credential was coming from the same neighbourhood with President Jonathan. And either by design or daunt of destiny or both Amuchi's Supervising Minister of Works is also from the Niger-Delta.

Unlike many generational professionals who are empty and lacking the requirement of modern working capital, Engr. Abdullahi stood for the highest principles of honour and dignity whose capabilities and tenacity in pursuit of set goals are overwhelming.

He played a pivotal role in the improvement and sustainability of our hitherto bad roads that are now motorable. Not known for double standard and the propensity to stand truth and justice on the alter of crumbs and handouts. Engr. Abdullahi while at FERMA administrated the organization with commitment, transparency and accountability in all ramifications.

It could be recalled that the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) early this year through Alhaji Lawal Isa, its National Operations Coordinator had commended FERMA, under Abdullahi for repairing and maintaining Nigerian roads. He said, 'We appreciate the performance of FERMA in 2010; if not for the agency, Nigerian roads would have become worthless by now. We appeal to the National Assembly to give 30% of the country's budget to FERMA to maintain our roads'. Several commendations have come to FERMA from almost all the nooks and crannies of the country for its wonderful performance.

While the dust on Engr. Abdullahi's removal was yet to get settled, another shocker came to the region as President Jonathan ordered for the silent but immediate removal of Hajiya Amina Az-Zubair of the Millennium Devleopment Goals, (MDGs).

Az-Zubair, known for her unbendable character, straight-forwardness and financial discipline was removed as Senior Special Assistant to the President and Head of the MDGs; she was replaced by Dr. Precious Kalamba Gbeneol from the President's home state, Bayelsa.

Ibrahim Modibbo Hamman can be reached on: