Impatience Is Not A Virtue | Independent Newspapers Limited
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COLUMNIST, Inside the Presidency

Impatience Is Not A Virtue

Posted: Oct 4, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Inside The Presidency

Despite the admonition from President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigerians that impatience is not a virtue, many of them seemed relieved that their impatience paid off on the last date of September. That was when their agitation for the President to release his list of ministerial nominees materialised.

The impatience affected journalists covering the State House as they were bombarded with enquiries about the contents of a list they couldn’t even confirm had been drawn up in the first place. The barrage of enquiries would have made a novice think the President was compiling the list with input from the journalists, whereas, top aides were seemingly equally in the dark. Their reactions of surprise when the first set of appointees were announced by the President showed that they were also watching the boss without asking questions.

Of course, the boss kept his list very close to his chest, and succeeded in keeping prying eyes off it. His success at doing this can be summarised by the fact that any substantial report or speculation about the contents surfaced after the list had left the Aso Rock Villa for the National Assembly. In many instances in the past, the President would have invited the Senate President to the Villa to personally hand over to him the ministerial list, or get his special adviser on National Assembly Matters to deliver it confidentially to the Senate President. This time around, with the possibility of Buhari inviting Senate President Bukola Saraki  to the Villa looking far-fatched, it was believed the presidential senior special assistant on Senate, Ita Enang, would be the courier man.

Well, this President proved everyone wrong and took us unawares as he took an unprecedented step. He sent his Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, to deliver the list to Saraki, just some hours before the expiry of the September deadline he gave himself.

Infact, Enang merely escorted Kyari to the Senate President’s office as there was no evidence or even likelihood that he even touched that envolope containing the list. No wonder he washed his hands off by softly responding with the words “mba, mba” (no, no) earlier in the day when he was approached by some State House correspondents to comment on the whereabouts of the list. Leaves one wondering if ‘old soja’ has after all these years overcome his mistrust of politicians, retired or serving. Afterall, the admonition that impatience is not a virtue applies to them too. And that is coming from a man who waited 12 years to become President!

•••Lucky Katsina

Anyway, while the hullabaloo lasted, the identity of the nominee from Katsina state was the first to be let out of the bag. It was President Buhari himself. He announced this himself in New York where he had gone to attend the 70th United Nations General Assembly.

In view of this, some curiosity is being aroused in certain quarters. One, does the President still remember his comments that civil servants do the job while politicians angling to be ministers make the noise? Another issue is how can he be screened by the Senate to represent Katsina state as Minister of Petroleum? Or does the Constitution have an answer for that? One is beginning to think the President shouldn’t have bothered announcing his portfolio but just hold it all the same. Afterall, former President Olusegun Obasanjo once supervised the same Ministry without formally announcing himself as Minister. Anyway, congratulations to Katsina State.