Controversies have continued to trail President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointments which many believed to be lopsided in favour a particular region of the country. Recently, the Senate rejected President Muhammadu Buhari’s ambassadorial list for lacking federal character outlook by summoning the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Onyeama Geoffrey.
President Buhari had during an interview with BBC Hausa on September 8th, 2015 said the Constitution allowed him full control over the choice of his closest officials. The president assured that he was not ignoring some regions of the society in his appointments, explaining that those he appointed were some of his most trusted associates. Responding to the interviewer’s question on the controversy generated by the appointments, Buhari said “This is the nature of Nigerian politics.”
Here is a quick look at the reasons why the tough ex-military commander choose to do so:
1. Buhari Believes Only The North Can Be Trusted – Due to his experience in the first coming during the Military era and the role he played in the PTDF, Buhari understands that it is better to entrust positions to his allies and trusted hands rather than conforming with the political arrangement of the country.2. Buhari’s Administration Favours Ethnic Competence to Federal Character – The Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina said on a radio programme, Political Platform, August, 2015 on RayPower 100.5FM that “Nobody can fault the fact that the persons appointed were appointed on merits”. “In terms of the spread, the President has prerogative to appoint and he knows there is federal character. I am sure that there will be balance in the future. “These are still early days. At the end of the day, we will have a balance.“By the time more appointments are made, it will balance out. The President is trying to get the very best of Nigerians. The issue of key positions and no key positions should not be the issue”, Adesina said.
3.The Nature of Nigerian Politics is Ethic-sided – The nature of Nigerian politics at least since the inception of Democracy in 1999 has always favours the political authorities. Each making appointments towards his cliques and allies and putting majority of the positions in the hands of ‘his own people’.
4. The President is Rewarding Loyalty and Faithful Followers – It can be deduced from the election results that massive number of votes came from the Northern region of the country and the President is seen rewarding loyalties for the roles they played for his emergence as the President of Nigeria. His statement during an Interview he granted BBC Hausa last year confirms this.
5. The South is Suffering From Election Outcomes – President Buhari received the least number of votes in the South East and South South, the political stronghold of his predecessor, Goodluck Jonathan. Hence, they are currently suffering from the 2015 election result which produced the current APC led administration.
6. Military Mentality: President Buhari matured from a military system where the rule of decree prevail over constitutional pronouncements. This is exemplified in his sack of university Vice Chancellors before he later rendered apology for the move after public outcry.7. Popular Support: Despite the perceived hardship within the country, the Buhari administration still enjoys popular support from northerners and westerners. The government is viewed as a preferred alternative to the Jonathan administration and to this end, many seem not to question him except for the southerners who felt gravely marginalized.With all these happenings at the political early age of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration. It is disturbing to believe in the president words as such as the popular quote that ushered him in during May 29 inaugural speech which says – “I belong to everyone and belong to no one”.