By Gbemiga olakunle
Recently, the Presidency released some appointments. It was supposed to be a normal exercise until some elements from the Northern part of the country began to raise some dusts where none exists. They began to cry foul and whipped up religious and tribal sentiments against the Acting President.
Initially, we thought it was just one of such stories crying for cheap publicity through the social media until it found its way onto the front pages of the mainstream media with the appropriate responses from the Presidency.
In the batch of the said appointments that was seen by majority of Nigerians as fair and representative of most sectors, sections and religious backgrounds of the country, some people from the Northern part of the country have decided to find fault in it. Specifically, they alleged that the Acting President – His Excellency Professor Yemi Osinbajo was appointing his kinsmen from the South –West and members of his church from the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) into key boards and councils. To the best of our knowledge, out of the new boards that were recently constituted which have attracted these uncomplimentary remarks and which were cited by this new brand of “Wailing Wailers”, only two of them came from the South –West. They are the Director – General of the PENCOM (Pension Commission) and the Managing Director of the Bank of Industry (BOI). The Acting President’s accusers did not like the way the former Chairman of PENCOM was moved to the Bank of Industry in the same capacity even through The Presidency has observed that the man was occupying his former position in error being a major shareholder in one of the insurance companies in the country.
These “whistle – blowers” also faulted the appointment of the Minister of Trade and Investment into a new Presidential Advisory Council as a Vice – Chairman from the Public Sector on religious grounds. They alleged that the man was a deputy to the Acting President in his capacity as a Pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Little did they know that the man merited his appointment by virtuee of his Ministerial portfolio that he is holding which he got due to his previous association with the President’s Chief of Staff (CoS) – Alhaji Abba Kyari. They did not object to the appointment of Alhaji Aliko Dangote who is equally appointed into the same committee in the same capacity as the Vice – Chairman from the private sector.
Further still, this same set of people also found fault in the appointment of Mr. Segun Awolowo, Jnr. Being an in – law to the Acting President, the fault –finders did not do their research to know that Mr. Segun Awolowo, Junior got a seat in the newly constituted Presidential Advisory Council on Investment by virtue of his office as the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council. And he was not even appointed to that office by this present administration. He was appointed to head the Nigerian Export Promotion Council by the immediate past administration of the former President Goodluck Jonathan.
So strong was this allegation of lopsidedness in recent appointments made by the Acting President that the presidency had to quickly debunk it and wave it aside as none issue. In fact, the Acting President even laid claims to the fact that Muslims are among members of his kitchen staff serving his food- a situation that the former Vice-President Namadi Sambo reportedly found to be interesting when he visited the Villa and discovered that his successor has retained his staff.
On a deeper look, we saw this recent campaign of calumny against the Acting President as a new ploy to discourage him in the giant strides he is taking to move the nation forward and to ensure that no vacuum in government is created while President Muhammadu Buhari is still abroad on medical – leave. Another possible reason for this recent allegation may be for the purpose of causing a division in the Presidency which has been operating as one united entity since the beginning of this administration. These detractors obviously want to force a wedge between the Acting President and his principal – the President.
Ironically, this new set of “Wailing –Wailers” who have one Dr. Usman Farouk as their face were mute or completely silent when social/political commentators (including this writer) and newspapers’ editorials were complaining of glaring case of lopsidedness in the appointments announced in the early days of this administration under the watchful eyes of President Muhammed Buhari. There was a particular case in which out of 27 political appointees, only one of two came from the South. When the people cried foul, the President explained that he needed to reward loyalty by appointing people who have stayed with him through the thick and thin of his past political – career/life. The President’s media aides therefore went round through their press –releases to allay people’s fear and promised that the issue of this lopsidedness in appointments would be addressed in future .But that promise was not in their capacities to keep as the President’s aides on media and publicity as subsequent style of appointments maintain the status – quo. And it even got to the point that about 90% headship of all the key security agencies in the country are from the same section of the country and obviously with the same religious background. And that same status–quo has continued to remain as the people pray for better days to come as long as the leaders are able to keep the nation moving forward in the right direction.
Left to most Nigerians, they do not mind if a particular clan in the country has decided to occupy the key positions provided the issues of food security, national security and general wellbeing are properly addressed. If leadership is taking as a Ministry or Service to the people and not as an avenue to lord it over them; if it (leadership) is held in trust to improve the welfare of the citizens and not to further impoverish them and send them to their untimely deaths and early graves through abject poverty/squalor, Nigerian populace will not mind even if a particular family/clan is ruling over them for life. Unfortunately in Nigeria, some of the people who found themselves in corridors/chambers of power begin to abuse their positions to corner for themselves and their offspring (yet unborn), the resources/common wealth that are meant for the general populace. People will only begin to raise eyebrows when there are issues that border on lapses in security as kidnapping has gradually found its way onto the front burner of national security now.
We, therefore, admonish this aforementioned set of “whistle – blowers” to rally round this present administration as it battles the issue of corruption and inequalities in our land through its various Social Investment Programmes (SIPs) and not to cause distraction in the Presidency. Incidentally on her arrival from London, the First Lady Mrs. Aisha Buhari has reportedly declared that the President expressed confidence in the Acting President and also appreciates his loyalty. These busy-bodies should therefore find new jobs for themselves as catalysts of development/progress instead of trying to constitute themselves into agents of division.
The present Buhari–Osinbajo administration needs one united front gear to move this nation out of its present economic recession and secession tendencies from certain quarters. We do not expect any group of people to engage the progress vehicle of this nation in the reverse gear in our overall national interest- to do so is to provoke both pronounced and unpronounced curses from the masses which automatically will abide on them and their generations yet unborn up till the fourth generation. All hands should be on deck to break every evil yoke from the neck of this nation so that it can recover the lost grounds and march forward gallantly to occupy its esteemed and destined glorious position in the comity of nations.
And God will not take kindly to any group of people that may be trying overtly or covertly to hinder Him in this divine assignment. We hope those that are concerned have noted our admonition . And it is their own interest to heed to these warnings. When God begins to work out His good purposes in a nation’s life, no one can hinder Him.
Olakunle writes via gbemigaolakunle.blogspot.com Abuja