The outrage over the appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari continued Friday with more Nigerians accusing the President of being ethnically biased. Even though many interviewees and others who did so on their social media page were not surprised about the development, there was an apparent consensus that the appointments did not reflect Nigeria’s ethnic diversity.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in its reaction, said the appointments should not be greeted with enthusiasm, adding that it is more concerned about the delivering of good governance.
Mr. Olisa Metuh, PDP National Publicity Secretary, said in a text message: “PDP has no official response to the President’s style and choice of appointees. We are more concerned with the inactivity in governance and economic matters. On account of lack of ideas, this government is orchestrating drama in delayed appointments and selective witch-hunt on anti-corruption.”
Similarly, a former minister of Aviation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode on his Facebook page, said Nigerians are already witnessing the consequences of his pre- election warning of not voting for the All Progressives Congress (APC).
He said: ‘’Nigerians wanted change and now we have got it. No one should complain because this is what our people wanted. Those of us who warned the country that this would happen were insulted and lampooned. Now we have to live with the consequences of our choice for the next four years. Welcome to the new Nigeria. Welcome to change.”
Also reacting, former minister of Transport, Chief Ebenezer Babatope said: “Democracy to Buhari is government of the Northerners by the Northerners and for the Northerners. God bless Nigeria.“
The immediate past Senate Majority Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, who hailed the appointments, said this is not the first time someone outside the Customs was chosen to head the agency.
Ndoma–Egba said: “They are competent with proven integrity. It will not be the first time someone will be appointed from outside to head Customs. Dr. Bello Haliru Mohammed, current acting Chairman of the PDP Board of Trustees (BoT) was appointed to head Customs from outside.“
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe stressed that no one should be surprised at the appointments because the President had allegedly pledged to give priority to those who voted for him.
He said: “No one should be surprised over what is happening or the shape of the political appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari. To be fair to him, the President said during his recent state visit to the United States of America, that he will reward those who voted for him.
“Again, it could be the style of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC). That is to say, that the party has chosen as a style, to run a government that encourages alienation of a sizeable portion of its people, as well as one that promotes exclusivity.
“Every political party has its style, like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that adopted its own style of running an inclusive national government, which reflected the true character and national outlook of the Nigerian people. PDP’s style was inclusive not minding the voting pattern of any section of the country or where its support base was derived.
“For any party, there should not be any political barrier or alienation of any constituent part, because after elections, the President is the President and father of all Nigerians irrespective of political leaning.
“My hunch is that the appointments so far, which has surreptitiously thrown up the prevailing circumstance, has failed to encourage our people’s hunger and quest to build a nation state out of a heterogeneous Nigeria. The appointments as it were do not also support the effort to weave a more cohesive country that would metamorphose into a nation where unity and love will prevail.
“The founding fathers of our nation had this in mind when the notion of “Federal. Character” was inscribed in the Constitution and a commission created for that purpose. That a President of elder statesman status would willfully breach this fibre that holds this country together is highly regrettable.
“My take is that, it is a ‘Buhari country’, it is the reality, so he can play around with his choice as his mind and conscience direct him. After all he did not win election in the South East and South-South and yet he became President, therefore, the South should be orphaned for not voting for him. Perhaps that is the stark reality that the people of the South in Nigeria should face.
“There is an idiom in Igbo language that says: “20 years or more is not eternity”. The Buhari government will also come to an end one day.
“Nonetheless, it could have been good and politically expedient if President Buhari sees himself as President of Nigeria, which is the hallmark of a statesman and not that of President of a section of the country.“
The Deputy Minority Leader of the Senate, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, said: “The President has his reason, that’s all I can say.”
Buhari’s appointments unacceptable to Ndigbo – Ohanaeze Youth Council
The Ohanaeze Youth Council (OYC), Friday, expressed deep anger over President Muhammadu Buhari’s latest appointments for the positions of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), the Chief of Staff to the President and others.
Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, President of OYC, in a statement he jointly signed with the group’s Public Relations Officer, Hon. Obinna Adibe, said the appointments were totally unacceptable to Ndigbo, arguing that they violated the principle of federal character as enshrined in the Constitution.
President Buhari announced the appointment of Engr. Babachir David Lawal from Adamawa State as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; as well as Alhaji Abba Kyari for the position of Chief of Staff to the President.
Others appointed included, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) – Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service; Mr. Kure Martin Abeshi – Comptroller-General, Nigerian Immigration Service; Senator Ita S.J. Enang – SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) and Hon. Suleiman A. Kawu – SSA to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives)
According to Ohanaeze Youth Council, the President had demonstrated his deep hatred for Ndigbo, even after he had said he belonged to nobody but belonged to everybody.
The statement reads: “We stand to condemn this glaring hatred for Ndigbo by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. We recall that apart from several other appointments, Buhari’s government has also appointed Service Chiefs and in a similar manner, he sidelined the South-East zone.
“As if that was not enough, the long-awaited position of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has come at last and this government deemed nobody from the South-East qualified enough to occupy that position, which was earlier zoned to Ndigbo.
“We are indeed shocked by this turn of events, which are totally at variance with Mr. President’s earlier stand that he was for nobody but that he was for everybody. We are at a loss where this statement fits in, considering all the actions he has taken so far, which are all against the interest of Ndigbo.
“Where is the justice? Where is the equity? Where is the one Nigeria? How long shall Ndigbo be pushed to the walls?
“The Ohanaeze Youth Council is saying it loud and clear that these appointments are unacceptable to us and we urge Mr. President to reverse them, otherwise it would appear that there is a grand-design to annihilate the Igbos out of the political and economic system in this country.”
The statement further stated that apart from the neglect Ndigbo had suffered in the area of appointments, it was also curious that the Buhari-led government had suspended work on the second Niger Bridge, adding that “all these are pointers to the fact that we are becoming endangered species in Nigeria.”
It added: “The Second Niger Bridge is a project that touches on the economic life of the entire South-East and we find it curious that the Federal Government is not ready to attach any priority to it.
“We use this medium to urge Mr. President to right these wrongs and move the country forward as one. Tribalism has never paid Nigeria and this period will not make any difference.”