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Nigerians Appraise Buhari’s Appointments

Paul Yovo

Nigerians have taken to social media again, expressing their concern over the appointments made so far by President Muhammadu Buhari. The recent appointment of another Nigerian from Niger State in the North central geo-political zone is being considered in ethnic terms the President subsequently criticized for it him for appointing another northerner into a key position. The appointment is in respect of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps whose former Commandant General, Dr. Ade Abolurin retired and was replaced by Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu. According to many Nigerians, this is one too many for the North. But President Buhari reacted to it last week noting that he has got a national mandate and was going to pursue it as such.

What these critical Nigerians consider lopsided appointments in favour of the North appears to be too much hurry in criticizing what was still unfolding, the President presumes. Nigerians said the appointments were lopsided and not in the best interest of the country. Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu, who becomes the new commandant general of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, comes from Muye in Lapai local government area of Niger state.

He succeeded Dr Abolurin on July 17. Political analysts who expressed concerns, lamented that the mantra of change that the All Progressives Congress, APC, was parroting, may not be holistic, as President Buhari appears to be pursuing a northern agenda. According to a man, Emmanuel Ibe, who considers himself a regular reader of newspapers from which he does his independent analyses, the appointment are becoming a course for concern even though there are still more to be made. The impression being conveyed, in his estimation is one of uncertainty, in other words let me consolidate with my people and then share the offices to others later. Ibe, said, “In as much as I do not subscribe to ethnic sentiments, I am sensitive to the malaise of ethnic distrust in the country. A wise leader would therefore, thread cautiously around this landmine.

We must patiently navigate our way out of ethnic bias. “Let me also point out that Nigeria’s strength is derived from her diversity, therefore, any government that wishes to succeed must draw from our diversity, and not limit itself to the talents from one region alone.” Another reader, Solomon Afolayun, said, “In a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Nigeria, it is insensitive of him to be making appointments made up of Northern Muslims. What of the Christians and the Southerners? President Muhammadu Buhari should know that former President Goodluck Jonathan started with greater goodwill than this in 2011 and he ran it aground in four years. Buhari should not make the same mistake. Nigeria belongs to everybody.”

On Facebook, Rita Kodjo, who was apparently disappointed with the situation, said the President’s ministerial appointments would not be much better. She said, “Because he lacks the power to do so with ministerial appointments, he will likely give key positions to Northern   Muslims, then the soft ones will be given to Northern Christians and the South.” Kennedy Afolabi, a doctor told The UNION : “I am no longer comfortable with our president in his appointment of persons into political offices. It seems to me is northern affairs rather than Nigeria.” “ A n o t h e r northerner appointed. So democracy can now government of the north, for the north….and by the north. Leaders are born they are not made. Buhari lack the quality of leadership” Nancy Odion in wonder asks: “Tinubu how market? Northerners everywhere. Amaechi, Tinubu, where are they? Buhari ride on! Them no get mouth.

Sai baba! Next is road safety commandant.” Chime Nwokolo said: “When he was busy deceiving people with Tinubu, many believed in him except the real Igbo sons and daughters, Una eye will soon clear, bring it on Buhari we are ready.” Harry Easy spoke thus: We are finished; please let somebody call Buhari to order. Nigeria is for everybody and not only the north. Another northerner…hmmm, acting on a script…northern agenda. This goes to show the kind of political power hunger. …especially the core north since they left power in 1999. Speaking in a telephone interview with The UNION, PDP financial Secretary Lagos state, Chief Taiwo Kuye said “this is exactly what we were talking about this Buhari and his APC government. Every thing is turning to a Northern-Northern and Muslim-Muslim affairs. I just hope the country is not tending towards becoming an Islamist state.

This is really the change they agitated for?” Second Republic lawmaker and Convener of the Coalition of Northern Politicians, Academics, Professionals and Businessmen, Dr. Junaid Mohammed has a different view all together He said in a published interview that the president was right in what he has done so far regarding appointments He said: Can anyone confirm to me in all the appointments made – they are very few– how many of them (appointees) are not Nigerians? Do we have anyone who is not a Nigerian? Is there any law or any section of the constitution, which stipulates that a certain proportion of appointments must come from the North or from the South? Can anyone also tell me that these appointments made were not on merit? Were these persons just appointed because they are northerners? If there is any breach of any law in the constitution about some of these appointments, I will be glad to know.

I will lead the charge against the appointments; that they were not made on merit. Unless we clear this nonsense about nepotism, about where somebody comes from, we are not going to make headway in Nigeria. The presidency has however dismissed claims that President Buhari is implementing a northern agenda in his political appointments. Giving the key appointments that are yet to be made, it considers rather hasty for people to begin to insinuate that the President is favouring the north. Even so the general attitude is to wait and see if these Nigerians are merely expressing their fears or whether they would be confirmed in the nearest future when more or all appointment would have been made that would dismiss or validate their views.

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