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President Muhammadu Buhari:  A Clannish Despot?

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buhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has started the Nigeria nation on the fast track of political declivity – through the trails of national disunity and possible disharmony.

With his lopsided appointments Northern domination – Hausa/Fulani; Western – Yoruba and South – South – Ijaw, Efik, Ibibio, marginalization and, South Eastern – Igbo, total exclusion, President Buhari true to type has in no unmistakable term told Nigerians what they are in for during the days of his administration, if he is not stopped and compelled to reverse some of these unwarranted unpopular appointments.

The plea of balancing with the yet unannounced ministerial positions is no more than an admission of a tyrant’s plea. The previous administrations even before the 1999 constitution which enshrined the Federal character clause in the nation’s supreme law never drove this country deliberately to such a precipice of unmitigatable parochialism.

Buhari in his warped imagination must be living in utopia if he thinks that the North still wields the absolute totalitarian power of the first republic. It should be a lesson to him that today the clannish despotism which characterized his appointments has been criticised by the right and patriotic Nigerianised, Northerners, while tribal bigots like Mohammed Junaid continue to encourage Buhari to destroy a nation entrusted to him by the people, while the likes of Tanko Yakassai, in his usual one leg in, one leg out, continue to blow hot and cold over a glaring case of unpatriotic leadership stance of a general who claims to have been injured during the civil war by Biafra (Igbo) troops for which he is now reaping vendetta on the entire South-East, even on a generation that was not born before or during the civil war period.

There must be an ethnic balancing of the key positions, if peace and harmony is to reign in this country. The North has the President, Senate President, and Speaker of the House of Representatives. The West has the Vice President. It is only wise and in compliance with the Federal Character enshrined in the nation’s supreme law that the position of the SGF should go to a south easterner. That Buhari is contemplating any balancing with ministerial positions, cannot vitiate the need to correct this singular imbalance at this stage. 

The plea of Presidential prerogative in appointments is misplaced and ill-conceived. And to plead real or imaginary and conjured up disagreement among the South East A.P.C leaders and the alleged ignoble role said to have been played by Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, cannot be tenable in a serious matter like an appointment to such a key position as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation. If and only if, Buhari was influenced by such a mean consideration, then in one sentence: he is a “Presidential misfit” – a knit wit incapable of sound decision of his own.

However, nobody is above mistake, they say, and this places the onus on President Buhari to show himself as a man amenable to discipline, having been a military officer. He should take steps to correct the lopsidedness in the appointments so far made before announcing any other appointments. The legislature – the watch dogs of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should compel Mr. President to revisit these appointments or they seek a means of removing a president who cannot heed public opinion, who seeks to govern the nation single handedly without regard for the stipulations of the constitution which he swore to protect. 

What Buhari has done so for is an impeachable shortcoming. This is saying that Nigeria is more than any single individual, but Buhari should be given an opportunity to correct himself – not in future appointments, but by a revisit to the ones already made and move people around to make way for balancing of the key positions. This will indicate proper application of his prerogative in this regard and set the nation on the path of peaceful development.

If Buhari refuses to do this latching of his “laws of the Medes and Persians”  which change not, then his advisers must not expect 21st century Nigerians from all parts of the country to be subservient to a despotic government. This certainly they will not do even depending on constitutionality for their reactions. Obstinacy begets obduracy. 

The plea that Buhari wants the “best” men and women in this country to serve the nation is euphemistic. Good and honest men are not the exclusive preserve of the North West, Nigeria. And when Buhari makes the noise about his anti-corruption stance, one wonders from what region of this country, corruption emanated. Could he say that people from the North West are more transparent than those from each and all other zones? The truth is that his plea again is an eye-wash. He is not being honest to himself and to the nation.

A man who says he is not corrupt will not accept money gift from a corrupt person. Nigerians are aware that at least two state governors at the time of election campaigns which brought Buhari to power have been dubbed corrupt governors. That two among some yet to be discovered, have openly stated that they funded Buhari’s campaigns heavily. One is now facing a probe; the other has been disgraced by the Obama list. 

These men, according to them, alleged that they funded Buhari’s electioneering campaigns. If the general is as transparent and puritanic as he wants Nigerians to believe, he would have rejected the offers made to him by men of doubtful integrity with doubtful source of wealth, do these governors run industries, what other business do they have, other than governing their states? Buhari should henceforth drum his personal integrity and anti – corruption stance to the marines.  Analogically, a man who benefits from the proceeds of theft, knowingly, is also a thief. Period. But we are talking of corruption here.


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