Premium Times this morning published a graph showing the distribution of Presidents Buhari’s appointments. In a chart format it looks like this:
Zone # of Appointments %
NE 6 20
NC 3 10
NW 13 43
SS 5 17
SW 3 10
SE 0 0
Total 30 100
It indeed looks unbalanced but I am not aware of any government that has a balanced appointment structure in technical appointments as opposed to political appointments. What PMB just deed is to appoint his technical team.
I have written several times before that the Federal Character requirement in the constitution does not apply beyond political appointments; that merit should be the sole consideration in all appointments; that the ability to work as a team is of higher order than Federal Character; that results ought to be the only yardstick for measuring success.
In USA where I have lived for the past 40 years I have heard of clannishness in the executives every time a new president was sworn in. I remember the Georgia Mafia (Carter Administration) the California Mafia (Reagan’s Administration) Texas Mafia (both Bushes) and now Chicago Mafia (Barack Obama’s).
A president must surround himself with trusted friends and would not do well if he is working with a team that he does not trust completely. I recall that the one common thing most of my Igbo brothers faulted General JTU Aguiyi Ironsi was that surrounding himself with the likes of Danjuma which resulted in his beheading by his mistrusted team. PMB has and should have learned from the Officer and a Gentleman Aguiyi-Ironsi’s mistakes.
Those who seek a united Nigeria should not do so at the expense of failing both personally and nationally.
I have written recently that Buhari does not owe any ethnic group anything.
In that article I emphasized that the only people PMB owes something are his supporters. His recent appointments bear me out on this. How each supporter’s contribution is valued is for PMB to decide. One must recall that even in NW former President Ebele Jonathan received thousands of votes.
PMB has not appointed any one of them to a strong position showing that his appointments are based on who did what when the chips were down. If SE has received nothing, it will be accounted for by the less than overwhelming support that PMB received in the zone.
SS, SW, and NC did not turn out big for PMB. These zones should learn that they took a chance and lost; that they should not expect big things from PMB Administration; that they should not regret not voting for the candidate they did not like; that they should oppose, oppose and oppose even more; that showcasing PMB’s failures would garner the opportunity to take over from him come 2019.
They must learn to wait.
PMB has stated that the guiding principle for his administration is “clean hands.” He would not appoint to any office those that have unclean hands. If he finds most of them in NW so be it. He is the one who owes to himself, to posterity, to history, and to his God/Allah the results of his services. He is the judge of cleanliness and dirty hands.
When you combine the need for trust and the need to be clean as judged by PMB one will find the answers to the “unbalanced” PMB appointments.
Of course those who love PMB must advise him that actions have equal and opposite reactions; that to alienate 14 million GEJ supporters could have one of two consequences: make them angrier than they were and therefore to fight harder against his administration or require that he uses greater force to beat them to submission. It is delicate balance that must demand the use of carrots and sticks.
The choice is for President Buhari to make.
I wish him good luck
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba, Boston, Massachusetts