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Ministerial Appointments:  In Defence of Buhari’s decision

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buhariI am constrained to write on the above subject matter. But before I do, let me firstly and formally congratulate our new President, General Muhammadu Okechukwu

Buhari for winning the march 28th, 2015 Presidential election. Let me also commend His Excellency Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for accepting and conceding defeat. It is my prayer that this new government will not disappoint the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians in Jesus mighty name, Amen.

Ever since Gen. Buhari emerged as the winner of the Presidential election, all manner of people have suddenly started clustering around him. Many of them have placed congratulatory advertorial messages, describing him as the messiah and king of kings; and also as the lord of lords. However, beneath these sycophantic sudden praise singing and worship, is the ruthless desire and brutal ambition for political appointments. Defections from other political parties to the new ruling party is the ‘’new” song now. Some so called leaders are now making headlines in our daily newspapers, giving the new president “pieces of advice” on how to make Nigeria a “wonder on earth” country. All these because a Buhari has won an election. 

Some state Governors and leaders of the All Progressive Congress (the new ruling Party) have turned themselves into the road map for political appointments. Many of these Governors have reportedly submitted ministerial lists to the new president. They want to dictate to General Buhari how to run his government. Better put; they want to balkanize the new government. Let me open the minds of the reading public; General Mohammadu Okechukwu Buhari upon being declared the winner of the just concluded presidential election made a speech that has sent corrupt politicians, leaders, fraudsters and their likes panicking. 

Among the statements made by Buhari include inter-alia: “My Administration shall strongly battle another form of evil that is even worse than terrorism; ____ the evil of corruption. Corruption attacks and seeks to destroy our National Institution and character by mis-directing into selfish hands, funds intended for public purpose; corruption distorts the economy and worsens income in-equality. It creates a class of unjustly enriched people. Such an illegal yet powerful force soon comes to undermine democracy because its conspirators have amassed so much money that they believe they can buy government. We shall end this threat to our economic survivals. I repeat that corruption will not be tolerated by this administration and it shall no longer be allowed to stand as if it is a respected monument in this nation”. 

This is Buhari on the marble. Fear has therefore enveloped the very corrupt politicians, leaders, fraudsters and their likes ever since Buhari, the foremost anti-corruption crusader made that famous statement. Therefore, in a bid to checkmate General Buhari, state governors have sent lists of those to be considered for ministerial appointments to him. These Governors few days ago visited the new President and “tested” the ground by complaining that they do not have money to pay workers in their respective states. But a response by Buhari shattered their plot. General Buhari is aware that these Governors have been collecting State and local Government Allocations from the Federal Ministry of Finance. 

The question is; what have they done with these Allocations that workers are today owed between three to four months salaries? Buhari has clearly informed state governors and others party leaders that he would never accept ministerial lists from anybody; arguing that since state governors choose commissioners by themselves, he should be allowed to choose loyal and committed Nigerians as ministers. Very beautiful defense!!! 

I am therefore calling on Buhari to stand by this singular decision. He needs selfless and committed Nigerians as his ministers. He needs people who will assist him to fight corruption. He needs people who will assist him to be very brutal and ruthless with corruption. He needs people who will assist him to make cost of governance to be less. He needs people who will fight the monster called corruption in all the sectors of the economy namely, education, industry, transport, energy (oil and gas), agriculture, commerce etc. 

For Buhari to fight corruption he must step on toes; and these toes will fight back. When you fight corruption, corruption will fight back at you. Presently, I am fighting a brutal and ruthless war against corruption in my state – Imo. The leader of corruption in Imo state is Governor Rochas Okorocha and his cabal. They have also fought back at me.  Okorocha, the Speaker of the Imo State House of Assembly and their cohorts connived with the very corrupt and compromised  Imo State police command to accuse me of murder , (the  very crime they themselves committed) and used the judiciary  to remand me in prison custody, all in a bid to cover their nakedness. But Almighty God brought me out after spending 328 days in illegal detention. 

Conversely, President Buhari should expect tones of allegations from these corrupt cabals. He should expect their stooges at the National Assembly to frustrate some of his efforts to sanitize the country. They will gang up at the oil sector to frustrate him. The will gang up at the power sector. They will give reasons why they have not done local government elections in their respective states.  These very corrupt governors will not tell Buhari why they submitted lists of very corrupt people to be made ministers.  Some of the people whose names appeared on the supposed submitted ministerial lists are those with questionable characters; and those with criminal cases already with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). 

For example, Governor Okorocha submitted the name of Speaker Benjamin Uwajumogu as a ministerial nominee from Imo state. The governor submitted the name of a man who has a case of monumental corruption hanging on his neck at the EFCC. He submitted the name of a man who used state funds to acquire properties all over the world and these details are not only with the EFCC but also with all the security agencies in this country. This clearly shows the personal character of Governor Okorocha. At this point, let me advice our new president; 

(A) Develop a thick skin and stand firmly on your decision to appoint credible ministers. 

(B) Overhaul the police commands at the state level. 

(c) Remove the EFCC Chairman for his incompetence to fight corruption. 

(D) Withhold local government allocations for States operating without elected local government chairmen. 

(E) Overhaul the Judiciary and ensure credible justice system. 

(F) Ban State governors from travelling outside Nigeria. 

(G) Withhold State Government allocations for states whose governors are not able to account for allocation previously collected. 

(H) Set-up a credible module that will fight ghost workers both at the state and federal level. 

(I) Apply the ‘’doctrine of necessity’’ to remove any state governor found to be corrupt.

Let me at this point state in clear terms that Nigerians actually voted for Buhari and not the party. Buhari is the President of this great country come, May 29, 2015. All lovers of socio-political, economic, religious and technological development should file behind Buhari and give him maximum support to succeed. We should all join Buhari to jump into the boxing ring to give corruption the beatings it deserves, to the glory of Almighty God in Jesus mighty name I pray, Amen.

Citizen Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha

Former Senior Special Assistant on Media 

Imo State House of Assembly

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