In recent times the issue of who should be part of the incoming government of General Muhammadu Buhari has dominated the media. Several lists of persons believed to have been confirmed as ministerial nominees and aides have been trending in the newspapers and social media. This is to be expected, especially after such an epic election that produced the most astonishing outcome.
However, there are disturbing aspects of the development that are giving several Nigerians grave concerns. This largely borders on the geographical, ethnic and religious considerations of persons being considered for such high positions of power and public service.
Particularly, there are reports about some powerful persons who were instrumental to the electoral success of General Buhari are mounting pressure on the President-elect to reward them by appointing their stooges into lucrative positions. Fierce debates have been advanced for some geopolitical zones such as South-South and South-East that do not have proportionate representation at the National Assembly to be given a special place in the incoming government.
In a heterogeneous society like ours, such pedestrian arguments are seen as logical and germane; after all, there is a need to give every part of Nigeria a sense of belonging. But what is particularly worrisome is that, if every state governor, former governor, party leader, traditional and religious ruler should begin to demand for a “share of the national cake” from General Buhari’s administration, it would mean the “change” mantra is a fluke. It does not only raise questions of national concerns, it also challenges the famed integrity and forthrightness of General Buhari, that is, if he eventually succumbs to these opportunistic demands.
We urge the President-elect to be his own man. He should not allow himself to be trapped by political gangsters that have been feeding fat on the nation. He should properly scrutinise and identify those recommended to him, in the interest of Nigeria and not that of profligate elite who have serially held every administration by the jugular just to satisfy their selfish interests.
He should first of all ensure that his team members are men and women of proven integrity, track record and patriotic disposition. He should recruit people who can help him translate the “change” slogan into profitable reality for Nigerians.