Angry reactions have continued to trail the six new appointments made Thursday by President Muhammadu Buhari. With only one slot allotted to the entire South, Nigerians, who spoke with The UNION described the fresh appointments as not only lop-sided but unacceptable, insensitive and pro North.
Maintaining that the President has failed to gauge the mood of the nation in the appointments made so far, they described Buhari as a sectional leader who does not have a pan-Nigeria view and therefore does not possess what it takes to oversee a country with a large population like Nigeria.
Former chairman, Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in a statement issued on Friday, described Buhari as a sectional President, saying the unity-driven constitutional provisions like the principle of federal character meant nothing to Buhari, going by the onesided appointments he had made so far.
Abaribe said it was not fair for the President to give 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) to Northerners.
In the statement titled “President Buhari and his appointments: It is a Buhari’s Country,” Abaribe said Nigerians should 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,” he noted.
He added that the trend, if not stopped, is dangerous to the Nigerian project, and, therefore, admonished the President to change his style by practically showing and acting as President of all Nigerians, irrespective of regional, ethnic or religious divides. According to Abaribe, “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. Also, the Ohaneze Youth Council (OYC), condemned President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest appointments.
Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the president of the group, in a statement jointly signed with the group’s spokesperson, Obinna Adibe, said the appointments were “totally unacceptable to Ndigbo”, arguing that they violated the principle of federal character as enshrined in the Nigerian constitution.
Yinka Odumakin, the spokesperson of Afenifere, a Yoruba sociocultural group, said Buhari’s action poses grave danger to Nigeria, adding “It is not healthy for a plural society.” In his reaction, President, Arewa Youths Consultative Forum, Alhaji Yerima Shettima, said the appointment is seen to be lopsided.
Meanwhile, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, has assured Nigerians that President Buhari would soon balance his political appointments.
Speaking while while featuring on a radio programme, Political Platform, on RayPower 100.5FM, monitored in Lagos, Adesina said the President was aware of federal character principle and would balance the appointments by the time more appointments are made in September.
-Foster Obi (Lagos), Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja