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Abaribe Slams Buhari Over Lopsided Appointments

Former Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, says President Muhammadu Buhari is sectional in his appointments

Former Chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, yesterday described President Muhammadu Buhari as a sectional President, following the lopsided appointments made by the President, which favoured the North.

The Union has recalled that Buhari, on Thursday, made six new appointments, with only one slot allotted to the South. Abaribe, who added his voice to the rage trailing the recent appointments by Buhari, noted that Buhari was not fair by giving the remaining five key positions like the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Comptroller-Generals of both the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) and Nigeria Immigration Services (NIS) etc were given to Northerners.

In a statement, Abaribe told Nigerians not to be surprised with the shape of things under Buhari’s presidency and in particular, the lopsided appointments made so far. “They should be taken as the style of exclusivity Buhari is known for, and perhaps, the style the ruling party, All Progressives Party (APC), has adopted in running its governance at the centre,” Abaribe said in a statement entitled: ‘President Buhari and His Appointments: It is a Buhari’s Country’.

He specifically observed that the unity-driven constitutional provisions like the principle of federal character meant nothing to Buhari, going by the one-sided appointments he had made so far.

He added that the trend, if not stopped, is dangerous to the Nigerian project, and, therefore, admonished the President to change style by practically showing and acting as President of all Nigerians, irrespective of regional, ethnic or religious divides. “No one should be surprised over what is happening or the shape of the political appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari.

To be fair to him, the President made himself clear in his recent state visit to the United States of America, with his now unfortunate theory of 95 percent and 5 percent reward for support. “Again, it could be the style of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). That is to say, that the party has chosen, as a style, to run a government that encourages alienation of a sizable portion of its people, as well as one that promotes exclusivity.

“Every political party has its style, like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that adopted its own style of running an inclusive national government, which reflected the true character and national outlook of the Nigerian people. PDP’s style was inclusive, not minding the voting pattern of any section of the country, or where its support base was derived.

“For any party, there should not be any political barrier or alienation of any constituent part because, after elections, the President is the President and father of all Nigerians, irrespective of political leaning. “My hunch is that the appointments so far, which have surreptitiously thrown up the prevailing circumstance, has failed to encourage our people’s hunger and quest to build a nation state out of a heterogeneous Nigeria.

The appointment, as it were, does not also support the effort to weave a more cohesive country that would metamorphose into a nation where unity and love will prevail. “The founding fathers of our nation had this in mind when the notion of ‘Federal. Character’ was inscribed in the Constitution and a commission created for that purpose.

That a President of elder statesman status would willfully breach this fibre that holds this country together is highly regrettable. “Well, my take is that, ‘it is a Buhari country’; it is the reality.

So, he can play around with his choice as his mind and conscience directs him. After all, he did not win election in the South-East and South-South, and yet he became President.

Therefore, the South should be orphaned for not voting for him. Perhaps that is the stark reality that the people of the South in Nigeria should face. “There is an idiom in Igbo language that: ‘20 years or more is not eternity’.

The Buhari government will also come to an end one day. “Nonetheless, it could have been good and politically expedient, if President Buhari sees himself as President of Nigeria, which is the hallmark of a statesman, and not that of President of a section of the country,” Abaribe advised.

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