For those still wondering why the political appointments so far made by Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, are overly skewed in favour of a certain section of the country, the answer is in the ninety seven and five percent narrative given by the president in far away United States of America in answer to what was an otherwise simple and opportunistic question to attain true statesmanship by a reporter during a press briefing.
Asked how he intended to facilitate and run ‘an inclusive government’, Muhammadu Buhari first had to be tutored on what inclusive government meant by the moderator but even still preferred to go on a brainless tirade of how it would not be fair on those who gave him ninety seven percent of his mandate to be treated equally as those who gave him only five percent.
How he arrived at these figures is unclear; notwithstanding the fact that they simply do not even add up in simple arithmetic terms. For a country still grappling with issues of oneness, such poorly thought-out comment from her leader is very unfortunate and unhelpful.
In a piece I wrote shortly after the last general elections titled ‘Divided We Stand’, I averred unequivocally that the election which brought Muhammadu Buhari to power as president was the most divisive one in Nigeria’s history.
I also stated there that as a people, we are neither one nor united and not capable of attaining that given our historical, cultural and religious differences which will not allow us mesh into one, seamlessly.
Recent events playing out in the National Assembly, where certain sections of the country are deliberately being sidelined because of their voting preferences and pattern by a group of people in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) acting like conquerors gives vent to that assertion. President Buhari’s comment therefore is just cherry on the cake. It is a pattern attempted to be played out before our very eyes.
During the run-off to the elections, certain fears and reservations were expressed over his sectional stance and hard line attitude which made many people quite uncomfortable having him preside over a delicately balanced polity like Nigeria’s.
These fears were allayed by his supporters, image makers and even himself, claiming he was now a changed person. It is worrisome to note that his actions since assumption of office has not shown that change and those who took a leap of faith trusting him are beginning to feel they made an error in judgement.
It is therefore not surprising that the militants in the Niger Delta part of the country are working towards coming under one umbrella called the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND. One does not need to be an Albert Einstein to surmise why these groups are uniting.
The region is already fearing marginalisation by the majority ethnic groups and getting ready to take up arms against the Nigerian state again like they did some years back necessitating the Amnesty Programme which brought peace to the region and restored Nigeria’s oil exploration flow.
The handlers of this president need to up their game and call him to order. No section of this country, no matter how small, is ready to put up with any form of discrimination anymore. The people of the South East and South-south have the inalienable rights as enshrined in the constitution of this Federal Republic to express themselves and associate as they deem fit without recourse to anyone or group.
Holding events that played out during the last elections against them is playing a dangerous game that would lead to all sides getting bruised.
Nigeria cannot afford to expose herself to any form of conflagration from any other part of the country especially given that the theatre of war playing out in the North East with the dreaded Boko Haram sect decimating parts of our territory with impunity is far from over as reports indicate that territories recovered from them a few months back are falling into their hands again.
It is pertinent to advice here that the elections and electioneering are over and governance should be all inclusive. It does not matter whether this president got support from all parts of Nigeria. What matters now is that he is the leader of the country and he must treat every section with equality and fairness as contained in the oath of office he swore to where he declared he belongs to everybody and belongs to nobody.
All Nigerians hailed this statement but now grouping the country in percentages goes against that assertion. President Muhammadu Buhari got it wrong and he should address this issue squarely like a good leader without spin and make amends for it. We heard it clearly and this is not the change that we want.


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