This dispensation of change would not have been it should things continue to remain as they were in administrations before the current one of President Muhammadu Buhari. It was not unexpected though. Afterall, ahead May 29, 2015, the sing-song of the then leading opposition political party, All Progressives Congress, APC was CHANGE.
That euphemism which was often chorused by the party’s loyalists and sympathisers across the whether at formal and informal gatherings sooner caught up with our aggregate national psyche that before long, the looming Change dispensation became a movement of sorts. Instructively, all founding and co-joining political groups and related sympathisers that metamorphosed into today’s APC fell for the magic word, Change; and pronto, the movement became rather unstoppable.
Eventually when the due season came at the presidential election, the Change philosophy swept Buhari into Aso Rock Presidential Villa May 29, 2015. The waiting game thus, began.
Putting the long-throated in check
Most that hit the road to campaign for Buhari with some expectations other than successful delivery of democracy dividends to the people began to run out of patience. And by the day the administration clocked 100 days in the saddle with a few appointments made by the president, not a few of the hitherto, millions of the Change chorus singers began to be restless and restive. That was normal though. At least, the Holy Book assures us that “the labourer is worthy of his wages.” In this situation unfortunately, the expected recompense of some key appointments for “those who denied themselves the required pleasures and rest“ to market Buhari to hitherto unwilling Nigerians, especially, in the face of the strength and posturing of the then ruling Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was not forthcoming. What with the appointment of the key kitchen cabinet of the president in which some top members and alleged heavy funders of the APC presidential campaign losing out.
That members of Buhari’s kitchen cabinet so far announced include his long time political associate, Engr. David Lawal as Secretary to the Government of the Federation and former banker, Alhaji Abba Kyari as Chief of Staff, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd.), who had acted as chief of staff to Buhari in his private capacity and as presidential candidate of the APC, was named Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service is a key indication of the President’s yet-to-be unveiled agenda for the Service. Hitherto, the president had made other key appointments that excluded supposed chieftains of the APC and financiers of his campaign.
Thus, the appointments went against the grain of political permutations which had seen some key APC figures like controversial former Rivers state governor, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, his then Lagos state colleague, Babatunde Raji Fashola among others mentioned as likely appointees to the coveted offices. The ensuing misgivings were thus inevitable. It was not out of place that in the midst of their associates, they must be wondering why the president would jettison all known principles of rewards in politics and look elsewhere to get hands that would join him in prosecuting his presidential agenda. No doubt, they are hurt.
Who would not feel so bad? Whose patience in this regard will not exceed its elasticity limit? Who will so affected and would not stop to use his tongue to count his teeth?
But then, their faith in the philosophy of the trending Change mantra may have continued to spur them on. To such persons, they should make the president’s ministerial list without doubt.
But that too, given indications from relevant quarters alongside media reports and against the backdrop of the peculiar Buhari antecedents may well be a pipe dream for the president is an old war horse; a through-bred Nigerian with expertise in military warfare and tactics whose foray into partisan politics is not a happenstance. Indeed, whatever they make of the Buhari presidency today is fallout of what the president may have seen as their blinded whiff for the pecuniary attractions in such public offices as they expected.
CPC is back
One thing they forget to understand here is the fact that Buhari is sending a message to them. And that is: “The CPC is back!
The APC may have won the elections, but the CPC now runs the government even ahead of the appointment of ministers. Any argument for appointment on the platform of APC and how hard one worked on that platform to campaign for the president’s election, as it stands today, is hollow. It won’t hold water. The APC has become the minority in the APC.
On this note, many are quick to argue that Buhari won election on the basis of his integrity using the network and platform of many politicians and retired military Generals of his ilk. Having won the election, he has apparently distanced himself from the very politicians who helped him to power on the excuse that some or many of them are corrupt. Did he not forewarn them? Yes, he did. Recall that he told the world that he belongs to all and to no one. Figure that out.
Therefore, in making critical appointments the president is limited in his scope of consultation. His network of friends is limited and so he is relying only on people he knows who unfortunately are from the same part of Nigeria.
Methinks that even when the reality hits him and he adjusts, at least to accommodate people out his small network of trustworthy Nigerians, Buhari would still not reckon with allegedly high-handed and long-throated members of the APC. His body language thus far, signposts favour more for his CPC members and people recommended by trusted CPC members. That way, the appointments may well have some form of spread across the board. But for now, welcome to the real touches of change; the dispensation of CHANGE ala Buhari.