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Mitigating President Buhari’s Appointment Disequilibrium

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buhariThe disequilibrium created by President Buhari’s inexplicable unbalanced appointment of his key officials by the last count is too heavy to be left pending for

too long, as the skewed weight can rock the fulcrum. No, those who called for change and accept Buhari’s emergence as providential should waste no time trying to defend the indefensible: wittingly or unwittingly, PMB has given a big stone for those looking for an opportunity to consolidate their charge of his being sectional, even while he promised to be for everybody and for nobody. This breach must be quickly stitched, if it cannot be undone. 

The greatest shock after last Friday’s “appointment disappointment” was Nigeria missing the services of an erudite scholar and “un-Nigerian politician”, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, whom it was hoped would have gladly accepted to serve Buhari’s and become the most brilliant Secretary to Government of the Federation. It would have been a lesser “sin” for him to succeed the last office-holder from the same zone (assuming this was a factor) than the loss of his huge and incomparable performance capacity that has been traded off, had it also been that Buhari’s appointments were based hundred percent on merit. 

Ogbonnaya Onu’s resilience and principled stance in politics has continually chastised our champions of politics of economic expediency; his shadow will task the present and future appointees to put in their best on the job. PMB must take extra steps to maintain the commitment of Dr. Onu to the success of this administration. In like manner, it is surprising that we are not yet availed the services of ex-governors Amaechi and Fashola; these two, along with Senator Akpabio left remarkable impressions of their capacity to unleash a positive force at stubborn developmental challenges in their states. 

The unproven attacks on their integrity (that could still be restituted and pardoned if confirmed) notwithstanding, Amaechi and Fashola appear to have the push and shove to deal with the challenges confronting us in key federal ministries like Petroleum, Housing, Works, Power, and Justice; their eventual appointment should be based on personal worth, not self-interest, party or zonal balancing. 

To counter the disequilibrium from the present and future geo-political imbalance in appointments, a policy should be adopted to deny all public office-holders the discretion of appointing their relatives and cronies as office assistants and heads in subordinate agencies and parastatals, which eventually facilitates the cover-up of inappropriate conducts in a line of MDA. 

PMB should direct all current appointees to henceforth reflect federal character principle in the appointment of personal aides and staff in the various offices or parastatals under their supervision, and where practicable give preference to those states that have been shot out in the present appointments. Then PMB can attempt to correct this hurtful imbalance in his expected future appointments, while all the appointees would still be required to meet the minimum condition of reflecting national spread in the choice of their immediate staff and subordinates.

The onerous task of recovering the damages of the immediate past does not give us the luxury of allowing PMB to open his flanks for avoidable attacks from unprogressive elements; no, the President must be assisted to overcome his weaknesses in the interest of the CHANGE we asked for. Sai, Buhari!

Victor TC Anyanwu; Snr. Economist/Policy Analyst, 08036676651, Email: managewell2000@yahoo.com

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