To the north, to the north

When Mr. President started making appointments shortly after he was sworn in as Nigeria’s president on May 29th 2015, starting with his close aids who would work with him, immediately a pattern was noticed in his appointments by those of us who cared enough to notice it. 

The few, but initial appointments was largely tilted in favor of a particular region of Nigeria the north and uncoincidentally it's the very same region Mr. President is from. President Buhari, since becoming head of the Nigerian state has what I would liken to a cult follower-ship from the northern region, hence when I use the term his supporters in the write up, I mean  not only people who are from the presidents region but those from other parts of Nigeria still with strong/passionate support for Mr President.

For anyone one who dared to be a critic or has anything “unsavoury” to say about the initial appointment pattern of Mr. President, his supporters came out swinging punches in all directions in defense of Mr. President, they said there's nothing wrong in what the president is doing, he has the prerogative to choose who he wants to work with and can only chose those he can trust. 

Well fair enough you can’t really argue with that, it has a stint of sound reasoning,however, for those of us who though we have borderline support for Mr. President because we still reserve our right to openly criticize any of his actions we find counterproductive to the collective good of Nigeria, our arguments then was that appointing honest or trustworthy people to work with him don't necessarily mean they must be from a particular region of the country, a country as large and diverse as Nigeria and more so not just from  the very region the president is from we  can surely find other trustworthy people.

Nigeria is blessed as being one of the most diverse country on the face of the earth in terms of ethnicity, languages, tribes and religion. The down side this blessing imposes on a country fighting against divisive forces is that the sensitivity of having key appointment in a government so visibly and largely tilted in favour of one region just further heighten this divide and distrust and is a call sign for trouble now or in the future, but president Buhari's supporters will hear none of this. They are blind to critics and anyone who has the audacity to criticize this well-meaning government, its reasoned that they are definitely supporters of the previous "fantastically corrupt" one that was kicked out of office by the Nigerian voters .

A friend of mine (of Edo state origin) even said to me where was the critics when the immediate past government gave the choice appointments to his own people and cronies, well good point I said, but I thought part of the reason the majority voted in the direction of "change" was so that we get the right type of governance a country so divided like Nigeria requires? so how come the blunders of the former is now used in defense of the present? especially when a "messiah" of "change" now leads the nation Nigeria.

Well on that note I rest my case on this matter many months ago, and then prayed the government of President Buhari succeeds, because Nigeria as a nation has no other option and if it takes mainly people from the North occupying key positions in government to accomplish this success, a view "the likes of the Saraduna of sokoto held for Northern region of Nigeria in colonial times " then so be it.
In the middle,Sir Ahmadu Bello KBE (Sardauna of Sokoto) 

Fast forward one year into the government, the trend of appointments still tilts to the region of choice, the North. Before you ask, Yes, we do have some appointment of people who are not from the north and these appointments to be very clear are the ones made within ministerial or cabinet appointments that the Nigerian constitution sorts of impose on the president to select his cabinet of ministers from the entire 36 states across all regions. 

Although there are a few appointment of  people from outside the presidents region,the interesting facts about the non-ministerial appointment made to people who are not from the north is that they happen to be political protegee of what I call the (Presidents Men) for example the appointment of a director general (DG) for NIMASA and the one time acting Chairperson in the (NDDC) though not from the north, these appointees are henchmen (defined  here to mean a person who supports a political figure chiefly out of selfish interests) of one of president Buhari,strongest supporter therefore people have argued that appointments like these where non northerner got selected was on the grounds of a political payback for die hard support rendered and in the case sighted above, it's a former state Governor now turned ministers, political payoff that secured those appointments and not the competencies of the appointees, however that's another tale for another day .

President Buhari 
But in the news again this week marking the one year in office of the current government some appointments happened to have been made for heads of some government agencies this has brought to the fore the debate of appointments and where the appointees are from, and again it's all "to the North, to the North," 

if I could sound like Beyounce I would probably make that phrase into a song.

So this week President Muhammadu Buhari approved the appointments of -.Mr Ahmed Ja’afaru as the new Comptroller-General (CG) of the Nigeria Prisons Service NPS, and Mohammed Babandede as the Comptroller-General (CG) of the Nigeria Immigration Service NIS, both Ahmead and Mohammed were formally assistant/deputy controller general of Prisons/Immigration's respectively. A deserving raise one could say? but a promotion now tinted in unnecessary controversy because of former sectional trends in appointments by the “head honcho”.

Also Alhaji Mohammed Buba was appointed the Chairman of Petroleum Products ‎Pricing Regulatory Agency - PPPRA , and Alhaji Yakubu Muhammed appointed as Director General (DG) Nigeria Television Authority NTA, interestingly news media refereed to Mr Yakubu a 2012 retiree who is brought back from retirement to head the NTA and Mohammed Buba is a former Director General (PPMC)/ (NNPC) the state owned oil companies .

Need I say more, it can't be denied now or argued away that the appointments are lopsided in favor of a section of the country however in this case the appointees do look like square pegs in square holes from a professional point of views if you ask me but for a country so divided a sectional view says the appointments is all about one region's bid to dominate all others – and this too is a justified argument based on Nigeria's history.

Anyway now most of the so-called supporters of Mr. president appointment pattern have gone a bit quiet, and though I too have rested my case on this matter, I can’t help but throw this one question out there for them or anyone else to answer. 

For all appointees be they are from the favored region or otherwise, my question is what stops them from making their own appointments, promotions etc in these agencies using tribal, religious or sectional bias? If their principal who was before the general elections suspected of having a sectional/religious agenda eventually get into government and tilt the holding of key government offices/agencies positions largely in one direction, can’t his appointees follow him by example or is it lead their agencies by example .

Last word, despite all I have said, this one word (Kashimawo! ) still greatly stands in the defense of Mr President.

Kashimawo is from the Yoruba language largely spoken in Western Nigeria and it means “let’s wait and see”


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