Let Us Have Our Say If Buhari Belongs To Us All -By Ahmed Oluwasanjo

Filed under: National Issues |
Ahmed Oluwasanjo

Ahmed Oluwasanjo

 

Above all, I believe in President Buhari’s leadership and I pray for him daily. However, holding him to a higher standard is one thing I owe him after campaigning and supporting him to become our president and I will be very happy if this public outcry would prevent him from confirming the views of traducers. Social capital is not accumulated overnight but could be squandered by an act of insensitivity. During the recent electioneering campaign, we were also called Buharists, APC’s apologists, slaves of northerners, and so forth.

The appointments made so far by President Muhammadu Buhari have attracted criticisms and support, respectfully in the public space. Some Nigerians have kept silent on these appointments because they do not want to be seen as being too quick to criticise Baba Buhari on this issue.

Fine.

But, those who choose to support it because they don’t give a damn regarding the fear of marginalisation on the part of some Nigerians are the most insincere.

Yes, it’s antidemocratic for some fellow to feel that any view opposing Baba Buhari’s actions and inactions is not in the interest of Nigeria. However, they simply get it twisted by seeing such persons as Jonathanians. But, why should this be the case in a democratic dispensation after Buhari himself had publicly declared that he belongs to nobody and belongs to everybody? Unfortunately, these sheepish followers fail to realise that some of us do not also belong to any political party or anybody like Buhari. All we are saying is that everyone should be carried along and given a sense of belonging in this country that belongs to all of us.

Some of us campaigned vehemently for change during the election campaign, and our ideas and contributions were never seen as hogwash then. Therefore, if we seem not to countenance these early appointments that appear lopsided, our views should be respected in the spirit of democracy. Besides, our criticisms could be the ingredient that might turn out to save Buhari from a damaged public perception, in a country where a region is already threatening secession. For instance, it was medicine after death when we recently got to know that Buhari’s predecessor in office was not an ogogoro addict as popularly bruited. One can only hope a lesson was learnt from such.

Letting the majority have its way while the minority is not silenced is a vital principle of any democracy. It’s also the premise upon which both objective, unobjective, constructive and inane criticisms are tolerated. Considering this, its unfair for some so-called supporters of Baba Buhari to call those of us who are opposed to the obvious lopsidedness of the appointments he has made so far names.

Some have justified this obvious lopsidedness by claiming it is because Buhari wants competent and credible people he can trust around him. I laugh. Are such people saying northerners who dominate the said appointments are the only competent and credible people in Nigeria? I recall that history shows that while Lawrence Anini was a southerner, Babagindanini and Abachanini were both northerners. So, why are these people embarking on defences that could widen the dichotomies in our polity? It is more or less like saying the northern clan is superior in the social contract that binds us as one in Nigeria. But, Baba Buhari should not make the mistake of making others feel like housemaids in the house he heads, if he truly belongs to us all.

Again, some have said the appointments made so far were done to reflect federal character. This is also funny, because if we all agree that the evil of federal character is that it breeds incompetence and kills meritocracy, then the first argument regarding the competence and credibility of appointees is knocked off. And to those who are using the lopsided appointments of the Immediate past administration, characterised by an inept and lackluster leadership as an excuse, we ask: is this administration supposed to imitate same? Besides, why did we vote for change?

Some who believe that desperate politicians are behind this public outcry are just insensitive. The argument that having a team from one region does not matter once they can “deliver” cannot hold water in a very complex and homogenous polity like ours. Even the northerner wouldn’t countenance such argument if it doesn’t favour them.

The fact that Buhari as a military head in the 1980s had a team that cut across our divides and differences should allay public fears; however, the president’s controversial statement during his recent trip to the United States still make Nigerians justifiably have a rethink regarding his intentions. So, those ignoring these early signs should let Nigerians air their views because It’s better to be proactive. Reinforcing this, I will advise those telling us to shut up to look online at Premium Times which through a chart reveals “only 25 percent of the president’s appointment are from the South, while an overwhelming 75 percent are from the north.” Such people might also want to come up with facts to challenge this assertion.

Above all, I believe in President Buhari’s leadership and I pray for him daily. However, holding him to a higher standard is one thing I owe him after campaigning and supporting him to become our president and I will be very happy if this public outcry would prevent him from confirming the views of traducers. Social capital is not accumulated overnight but could be squandered by an act of insensitivity. During the recent electioneering campaign, we were also called Buharists, APC’s apologists, slaves of northerners, and so forth.

That was also fine…

But we wouldn’t for the fear of being called “Wailing Wailers” or “Jonathanians” keep quiet until all appointments are made and they reflect our diversities.

Please, let us have our say.

Ahmed Oluwasanjo writes from Abuja and can be reached on ahmedoluwasanjo@gmail.com.

 

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