You Can’t Rule Nigeria By Caucus – Gani Adams Tells Buhari | Independent Newspapers Limited
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You Can’t Rule Nigeria By Caucus – Gani Adams Tells Buhari

Posted: Jul 17, 2016 at 4:32 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Oyeniran Apata

Lagos – Otunba Gani Adams, the National Coordinator of the Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC), has advised President Muhammad Buhari not to rule Nigeria by creating a caucus through lopsided political appointments in favour of the northern part of the country.

The OPC leader in a reaction to recent appointments considered by many Nigerians as pro-north told Independent that the worst aspect of the president’s appointment was in the security sector in the State Security Service (SSS), Nigerian Army and the Police.

In terms of the lopsided appointments by President Mohammad Buhari, the security aspect is the worst than the political appointments. In the police hierarchy, there is no southerner even the service chiefs apart from the chief of defence staff who happens to be a Yoruba man, and the chief of naval staff who is from south south. No other southerner is represented in other appointments.

Such appointments, Chief Adams said were capable of fanning embers of disaffection among the various ethnic groups in the country.

“The lopsided appointments have become glaring to many Nigerians because about 85 per cent of appointment by the present administration is tilted in favour of the north. In a situation like this the polity will be over-heated because other sections of the country that are shortchanged in the federation will become agitated.

He added: “It will also encourage disunity because when the sharing formula to share political offices is lopsided and is not balanced people will perceive Mr. President as playing a northern agenda.

Emphasising that the President must be ready to take responsibility for every development in the country, he charged him as the leader of the country to carefully scrutinize list of prospective appointees forwarded to him by his aides.

“A good example that readily comes to mind is the appointments at the Nigerian Port Authority. When was the last time a person of western extraction gets appointed into the management of the NPA? The president should not forget that Lagos is the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria where it is generating income from the ports in Lagos.

About 75% of revenue generated internally is coming from Lagos State and the ports especially.

“When people are talking about resource control, what Lagos has is the abundant bodies of water that is generating income for the government. The president should realise and be informed that Nigerians are not happy with the appointment by the president.

The OPC leader argued that appointments in the country should be seen and considered to reflect national spread, saying that the president’s preference for selection of people of northern extractions were also evident in the appointments of ministers.

He stated that combined portfolios of Minister of works, power and housing given to Barrister Raji Fashola from Lagos state would not make him do the needful in the sectors as he is surrounded by Permanent Secretaries of northern extractions who may not give him the much needed support in the discharge of his responsibilities

“The appointment of three portfolios to Barrister Babatunde Raji Fashola from Lagos, about 70 % of the Permanent Secretaries are from the north. If you are a minister there is little you can achieve without the support of the Permanent Secretaries.

“Most of the parastatals, a good percentage of public officers in this position are from the north. This is obviously not good for our democracy. The last time we experienced lopsided appointment of this magnitude was during the military era in 1984 to 1999.

Citing a near balanced appointment into public offices he said: “When Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was in power he had always emphasized that he was not a Yoruba president. He made sure he balanced appointments and in spite of that the northerners had good representation in his cabinet all through. It was about 65% for the northerners and 45% percent for southerners.”

He rated appointments by the incumbent as 85 % north and about 15 % south, saying this will not augur for the country’s unity.

“With just a little over a year in office, the president as the father of the nation still has the opportunity to right the wrongs and make amends.

“Every person can represent Nigeria and protest her interest in terms of provision of safety and security. In terms of probing corrupt practices in the country he should extend the probe to the reign of former civilian rule in 1979 all through President Olusegun Obasanjo’s administration and not limit it to Jonathan’s administration. Nigeria has been swimming in corruption since the time of the military rule.

He added: “This will give him the opportunity for a wholesome sanitization of the system.”

Dismissing the notion that the people appointed were the people the president trusted and can work with, Otunba Adams said it would amount to sheer illusion that trusted persons can only be sourced from his part of the country.

In his argument he stated: “Every Nigerian is entitled to appointment into political positions and anyone found wanting, the president has the power to replace and probe such a person. Did he know the character of the people he has given appointments too. You don’t trust people until when given power and money. Human beings can change and put up a new attitude overnight. Followers of Jesus Christ even betrayed Him as close as they were.

He charged President Buhari to give every committed, qualified and creative minded Nigerian the opportunity to serve irrespective of state of origin and geographical zone.

“He possesses the powers as the commander-in-chief to remove any erring public appointee. But with permanent mindset that a particular section of the country are the people he can trust or work with is bad. If he does not trust them they in turn will not trust him as a leader.

He added; ”The president should not rule the country on the basis of forming a caucus”