After what seems an endless wait, the President’s ministerial list is before the Senate. However, contrary to the promise of the president to avoid compromised
politicians, the names being speculated in the media suggest that the President has also kept faith with tradition; rewarding ‘compromised’ political supporters PRESIDENT Muhammadu
Buhari never kept anybody in
doubt on the calibre of persons
he would work with. From the
election campaigns and even
since after swearing in, he has
insisted on appointing men
with integrity to help him drive
the much needed and much
trumpeted change.
Because of the need to get it
right this time around, Nigerians
were ready to wait for the
president to take his time and get
the right persons to work with
him.
This perhaps explains the
anxiety with which Nigerians
waited for the presidents
ministerial nominees to be
made known. For four months
after taking over power,
Nigerians have been on the
edge of their seats waiting with
unprecedented anticipation for
the names the president would
come out with. No other time in
the democratic history of Nigeria
has a ministerial list been waited
with bated breath and even some
traces of trepidation.
On several occasions, the
president had given and insight
into the calibre and quality of
Nigerians he would want to
work with. For instance, in one
of the president’s media outings,
he was quoted as saying “We will
try as much as possible to avoid
appointing hostages; by this, I
mean people who have been in
the system but compromised
their personal and professional
integrity.
“From what I have seen so far,
we need very patriotic Nigerians
(to be ministers); Nigerians
that can work very hard with
knowledgeable experience;
committed Nigerians to be in
charge of ministries.
“A lot of institutions in Nigeria
are compromised, everybody
for himself and God for all
of us. It is most unfortunate.
We have people, educated
and experienced people, but
everybody seems to be working
for himself on how much they
being in charge
of ministries
and important
parastatals.
“It is taking so
much time (to
appoint ministers)
because a number
of knowledgeable
people have been
compromi s e d .
They have been
compromised by
people who will
like to depend on
them to damage
our economy and
security; a lot of
them have been
compromised.
“The worst thing
that I think can
happen is to get
a compromised
person to be in
charge of institutions. There is no
way he could be efficient or patriotic.
Somebody behind the scene will be
manipulating him at the expense of
the nation.
“This is what we are trying to
avoid and I assure you that so
anything wrong?
“I have been with them
throughout our trying times,
what then is the reward of such
dedication and suffering?
“They did not defect because
of positions, they did not involve
themselves in the pursuit of
personal gains, and they accepted
their fate throughout our trying
moments,” the president clarified.
Following in the same pattern,
the list of ministerial nominees
sent to Senate by the president
has been received with mixed
feelings. The names according
to analysts suggest that the
president has once again towed
the line of rewarding his political
supporters. The names being
speculated have left many people
asking, why wait for this long
to bring out the same names?
According to Yinka Odumakin,
the spokesman of Afenifere, there
is nothing exciting or surprising
in the list to have warranted the
four months wait. “There is no
excitement or surprise in the
list. They are mostly run of the
mill peoplethat do not warrant
waiting four months to have.
Those names could have been
submitted at Eagle Square on
May 29,” Mr Odumakin said.
Mr Odumakin is not the only
person taken aback with the long
wait and the eventual names.
Many Nigerians have expressed
dismay given the names bandied.
For instance, such names as
former Governors Babatunde
Fashola, Rotimi Amaechi, Chris
Ngige and Kayode Fayemi
are known henchmen of the
president; his foot soldiers.
But the argument of Nigerians
is, do these ex-governors meet
the criteria for ministerial
appointment, which the
president had set for himself.
The president vowed never
to have anything to do with
‘compromised’ people and with
allegations of massive corruption
hanging on the necks of these exgovernors,
can the president beat
his chest and say he is not going
back on his avowal.
much damage has been done to
Nigeria. We cannot rush to give this
responsibility to people that have
unfortunately been compromised.
“This is because there is no way
you can effectively supervise, let’s
say 20 ministries, you have to give
it to people you trust and you allow
them to perform according to the
Constitution of the country. If you
appoint compromised people, then
we will be back to square one and
Nigeria will be the loser.”
However, when the president
came under immense criticism
on the lopsided nature of his
appointments so far, his defence
showed that other considerations
other than his avowed integrity
played a major role in determining
those appointments. The president
explained that those appointments
were based on reward for long
suffering and loyalty.
“If I select people whom I know
quite well in my political party,
whom we came all the way right
from the APP, CPC and APC, and
have remained together in good
or bad situation, the people I have
confidence in and I can trust them
with any post, will that amount to


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