A section of Nigeria`s commentariat got heated up following the appointments of Baabachir David, Abba Kyari, Hamidu Ali, Ita Enang and Kawu Sumaila as SGF, CoS, Customs CG and Aides respectively about a fortnight ago by President Muhammadu Buhari. Like the proverbial empty vessel, majority of southeasterners and few others rushed to the press to complain that given the appointments made so far, the president is on his way to northernise Nigeria (this time around it’s not Islamise). They noted that the appointments were “lopsided” and therefore the president should be reminded on the need to respect federal character provisions.
However, whilst yours sincerely believes in democracy and agrees with the constitutional provision that stipulates the right to expression of opinion of any Nigerian, I rather suggest that the wailers who are all over the media today crying foul that there is marginalization have no moral courage whatsoever to make noise that “Buhari`s appointments are lopsided” at this point in time. This was because whilst when they ruled, the southeasterners ruled and ruled alone in a country with six geo-political zones and uncountable ethnic nations, other wailers didn’t raise any questions at that time.
They were invisible either because of fear of the powers that be or because they were among the ethnic chauvinists who helped Jonathan championed the cause of divide and rule tactics and or because they collected there share from the unimaginable loots perpetrated by Jonathanians. Otherwise where were they when under former President Jonathan most important and strategic appointments were occupied by the easterners? Chief of staff to the president, the president`s spokes persons, SGF, ministers of finance, petroleum, defense and most of other very strategic and important government Departments and Agencies were predominantly occupied and controlled by the easterners simply because “their own” was in power. This is not to talk of the Clarkes, the Dokubos, the Tompolos and the rest who were even more powerful than then Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
While it is illogical to opine that because Jonathan marginalized and made every efforts to collapse the north in every ramification Buhari should take vengeance, it is indeed irritatingly astonishing that at this moment of our national life the southeasterners of this nation have guts and temerity to make utterances on leadership matters regarding Nigeria despite the poor outing of who they not only said was “their own” but also demonstrated so throughout the time former President Jonathan reigned. Given the unfortunate performance of former President Jonathan coupled with the tendencies, disposition, attitude and ultimately voting pattern of most easterners before and during the 2015 general elections respectively, it was expected that most of them would by now be silent watching how matters unfold in the country so that the rest of us will have chance to forget their very unfortunate story.
Let me confess here that as a true Nigerian I am deeply disappointed by the many intellectuals who joined the wailers in this “lopsided appointments” hullabaloo thereby dragging me into an unnecessary argument. It was unnecessary given that none questioned the integrity and or competence of anyone appointed by Buhari; it was unnecessary given that the president just started the efforts at constituting his team. In essence thus, the wailers are either not conversant with government and governance or they are simply impatient. Otherwise, why query that the plaster work of a duplex house was bad when even the substructure stage of the construction work was yet to be completed?
Jarmajo is on Twitter: @mukhtarjarmajo