Saheed Animashaun: Buhari’s govt and its skill in courting needless controversies
If you need to get hot water from an ocean, you basically have two options.
· Dip a container into the ocean to get your desired quantity of water and thereafter boil it.
· Attempt to boil the whole ocean! Thereafter dip a container into the ocean and get the desired quantity of hot water.
The first option is easily the most effective and most efficient. However, something I am yet to understand the rationale for is why the PMB led government seemingly prefers the second option of boiling the whole ocean just to get a cup of water! In many ways, this government has created needless controversies around many matters. The current administration has made a name for itself in the area of brewing dissension where frankly there should be none. They do not seem to realize that 21st century governance has evolved beyond pettiness.
One such area of controversy is political appointments. We can spend eternity debating on the fact that where a person comes from should not be a point of contention in government appointments and that rather, the person’s competence should be the focal point of concern. However, this debate would be narrow-minded if we do not put our recent history into perspective.
Nigeria is not a nation; in fact it has never been one! There has been perennial distrust among the different regions, ethnicities, and faiths that make up the geographical enclave called Nigeria. The huge scale of these mutual suspicions was brought to fore in the last general elections. The elections were characterized by hate campaigns that took religion and ethnicity as the primary captives. These two tools were exploited to the maximum in a variety of forms.
Buhari was particularly targeted with vile campaigns. His opponents amidst other accusations repeatedly painted him as an ethnic and religious bigot. Caution was thrown to the wind and the religious and ethnic cards were flagrantly thrown about. It was so bad that some retards even trended #IsisBuhari on Twitter.
With this background in mind, it is therefore utterly reckless for Mr. President to disregard these realities in running his administration. Elections are over! Commonsense suggests that an integral portion of his administration’s goals should be tailored towards mending this fragmented country. His actions and inactions should portray him as a father of all and not a father of a section of the country. However, he has done so little to prove his antagonists wrong!
Speak all the grammar you like, the fact remains that Buhari has been super reckless as regards fostering national unity. For one, his political appointments are a perfect pointer to this. Res ipsa Loquitor! A cursory glance at all his appointments since May 29, 2015, reveals it all. The presidency is attracting unnecessary and unwarranted distraction to itself. While appointing people from all sections of the country obviously doesn’t guarantee performance, some appointments made so far don’t exactly inspire optimism either. There are competent people in every section of the country. So, why not kill one bird with two stones – appoint competent people quite evenly from all sections of the country. This way the objectives of performance delivery, creating a sense of belonging in all, and fostering of unity can all be attained.
The issue of publishing details about the missing funds also comes to mind. The president could have easily verified the issues surrounding the missing funds – the litigation implications, social implications, etc. However, he was perhaps caught up in the euphoria of exposing the grand scale of corruption under GEJ (AKA Mr. Clueless) such that he hurriedly promised to publish the amount of loot recovered against the names of looters. As expected, he didn’t fulfill the promise and didn’t even see the need to apologize!
This tendency to create needless controversy has spread beyond actions of the president alone.
For example, a simple check by the new IGP, Ibrahim Idris, would have revealed the current status of the purported missing cars. Instead, he jumped to the press to sensationalize what turned out a simple administrative matter that could have been clarified with the slightest of efforts.
In yet another scenario, Mr. Femi Adeshina debunked claims of Mr. President being ill. Yet few days later Mr. President admitted he was ill and he jokingly even challenged a journalist to a wrestling match when he returned from his foreign (medical) trip to show that he is no longer ill.
The gist of my ‘wailing’ is that Mr. President can achieve the desired results without courting unnecessary distractions – a principal case in point being the oft-repeated claims of disenfranchisement as regards public office appointments by different sections of the country.
Mr. President’s war on corruption is highly commendable. People that have looted public wealth do not deserve our sympathies in any way, shape or form. They should be jailed, publicly shamed and made to return the loot- all these should be done with the instrumentality of the law and due process.
The controversies surrounding the COAS, General Buratai, and Minister of Interior, General Dambazzau raises a moral question for Buhari. Probing them would prove that the anti-corruption war is quite total. Leaving them would show that there are still many sacred cows.
I believe that Mr. President understands that we have on our hands, a golden opportunity to rebuild Nigeria. It is in the interest of most Nigerians that he harnesses the immense competencies of Nigerians in order to deliver the change agenda that the APC relentlessly promised during the campaigns. Mr. President should remember that even when life gives you lemons you can make lemonade out of it.
· Saheed Animashaun (@ani_gene) is an accountant and social commentator.