Cognitive Therapy For Buhari’s Traducers (1) | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Cognitive Therapy For Buhari’s Traducers (1)

Posted: Jul 23, 2015 at 1:33 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

I hereby take the liberty to share with you excerpts of a lengthy interview I granted someone who, for the purposes of this page, I will simply refer to as the devil’s advocate (DA).

DA: Hi Uncle Sam, I wonder how you are feeling now that your man is earnestly assembling northern troops in Aso Rock to wage a supremacy war against the south.

US: If you’re referring to President Muhammadu Buhari, the last time I checked, he is still the President, Head of State, Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation.

DA: Please, don’t tell me you haven’t been following his appointments to know that he is building an impregnable sultanate in Aso Rock.

US: It’s too early to worry about sectional and regional balance in the Presidency. The Civil Service bureaucrats know offhand every letter of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and since they’re assisting him in setting up the structures and tracks on which he wants to run his government, I am certain they will guide him though the letters and spirit of the constitution. Mind you, the Vice-President is a legal luminary who has excelled both in legal theory and practice. He is a constitutional lawyer much at home with the rudiments and principles of constitutional democracy. That alone is enough to give me comfort and buy me space to look at the larger picture rather than lose sleep over the question of whether Mr. President is slipping away from the federal character radar.

DA:  My friend, you can run as far away from reality as you want, but you do know that the chick that will grow into a cock will be known from the moment it is hatched. In all endeavours, the first cut matters a lot. The gentleman is unfolding his inner mind gradually, and from what I have seen, he is more of a northerner than a Nigerian.

US: It may not be politically correct for me to say charity begins at home, but I do not see the rationale in judging Mr. President from a few appointments. Here is a man who has been in the political jungle for over 30 years. He was scorned most times, despised and ridiculed by those who considered him a nuisance. Yet in that pariah, he made friends – true friends who believed in him, and were never dissuaded by the seeming unrealizability of his dreams. It’s natural, quite moral and fair for him to first bring to his right-hand side such rare and discerning personalities before opening the gate for the multitude he must work with.

DA: Now, are you saying he didn’t have many such friends down south, and if so, doesn’t that demonstrate that he didn’t sell himself as a national leader but as a northern messiah?

US: Let’s be honest; how many of us down south had, before he was packaged by the All Progressives Congress(APC), believed in his cause, and were ready to give him a chance. Many times in 2011 was I tempted to ask Femi Adesina what he saw in Buhari, that could make him put out himself for him the way he did. For some of us, having been kicked out of government by Jonathan it was natural that we opposed Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) the way we did. In sum, most of us support causes and personalities out of political measurements and benefit projections – not out of genuine association with those causes or personalities. Anyways, the Presidency is the largest employer of labour in Nigeria – involving the office of the Vice-President, Ministers, Special Advisers, officials and agencies responsible for the execution and administration of all the public affairs and laws of the Federation.  The President still has to make the APC government felt in terms of personnel in the various Ministries, Parastatals, Agencies, Boards, Committees and the rest. There are therefore one million and one jobs up for grabs!

DA: You’re obviously justifying sentiment and nepotism, and playing down the role of merit in Mr. President’s appointments.

US: I have no yardstick for merit, but I know that Mr. President knows what he is up against. He inherited a failing state, a broke country. Oil and other natural resources can hardly do more than what they have done for the country. If he is to succeed, he knows he has to turn to human capital. He and his team must be a catalyst for innovation. He must empanel high-end thinkers and creators. He must infuse in every sector of the country personnel that can engender innovation and promote ingenious and out-of-the-box thinking and ways of doing public business. The Presidency must      by its configuration and empanelments create an environment that can release the best of energies and ingenuity in Nigerians.