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Nigerians Express Displeasure Over Appointment Of Only Northerners By Buhari

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Nigerians from the southern part of the nation on Friday, July 3, 2015 expressed dismay, over the appointments made so far by President Muhammadu Buhari.

They are agitating that the appointments were lopsided and not in the best interest of the country.

President Buhari is from Katsina State, Daura precisely, Senate President Bukola Saraki and Speaker  of the House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara are respectively from Kwara and Bauchi states.

The judicial arm of the governemnt is led by Justice Mahmud Mohammed from Taraba State.

All the nine appointees of President Buhari so far, only one is from the southern part of Nigeria.

The appointees include: Lawal Daura (Director-General of the Department of Secret Service) from Katsina State; Mrs Amina Bala Zakari (Acting Chairman, the Independent National Electoral Commission;) from Jigawa State; Mr. Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan (Direector, the Department of Petroleum Resources) and also the AccountantGeneral of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris are both from Kano State.

Other appointments made by President Buhari include; the State Chief of Protocol, Mallam Lawal Abdullahi from Kano State; Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam garba Shehu.

The only Southerner is Mr. Femi Adesina who is from the South-West.

The ire of Nigerians have been provoked by President Buhari who has been urged to respect Nigeria’s principle of federal character.

Consequentlythe social and online media are agog with reactions and counter-reactions bordering on this issue.

One of the comentators on Nairaland, Nigeria’s biggest discussion forum, identified as Daamazing, alleged that President Buhari is appointing only Northerners into the country’s key positions.

In pidgin English, he said, “After all your mumu promises, one thing you’ve not achieved, na to dey appoint all the people for your family tree, dey do tourism up and down,” in translation, “After all your promises, you’ve not achieved anything. All you have done is to appoint your kinsmen and travel all around the world”.

Another commentator known as Augster, stated that “Buhari, don’t let those those who voted for you down because your appointment of only Northerners into top positions is baffling us”.

Similarly, SenseiX, another Nairaland commentator, mentioned that it was wrong for President Buhari to have brought someone from his hometown, Daura, the acting DSS DG, from retirement to head the agencywhen there were qualified persons from other regions of the country still in service.

“He ignored the entire senior cadre of the agency- from Bassey Eteng to the least- simply because they are Southerners. Even if he wanted to pick a a Northerner, he should have picked from the servicerather than a 62-year-old retiree, whose only qualification is being Buhari’s kinsman, who was in the DSS. When former President Goodluck Jonathan appointed Ekpenyong, he was already a Director of Operations, same for Gadzama, who was appointed by Umaru Yar’Adua,” SenseiX wrote.

According to PUNCh, most of the 30,722 persons who commented on their story of President Buhari sacking the DG of DSS, expressed utter anger over the development.

one of the readers, namely Ify, said “In as much as I do not subscribe to ethnic sentiments, I am sensitive to the malaise of ethnic distrust in the country.

“A wise leader would therefore, thread cautiously around this landmine.

“We must patiently navigate our way out of ethnic bias.

“Let me also point out that Nigeria’s strength is derivedfrom her diversity, therefore, any government that wishes to succeed must draw from our diversity, and not limit itself to the talents from one region alone.”

Omoyooba, another reader who commented said, “In a multi-ethnic and multi-religious Nigeria, it is insensitive of him to be making appointments made up of Northern Muslims.

“What of the Christians and the Southerners? President Muhammadu Buhari should know that former President Goodluck Jonathan startedwith greater goodwill than this in 2011 and he ran it aground in four years. Buhari should not make the same mistake. Nigeria belongs to everybody.”

Just like the online community, notable groupsin the South-West like Afenifere, Yoruba Unity Forum (YUF) and the Movement for Oodua Republic have all said that this kind of lopsided appointments had never happened in the political history of Nigeria.

YUF’s Secretary General, Senator Anthony Adefuye, has warned that the earlier the situation was changed, the better, adding that the YUF would not expect the North to marginalise the South.

“The fact that the President, Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives are from the North is worrisome.

“There is no way the North can take all the principal offices and leave the deputy to us. It has never happened before and the earlier it is reverted, the better.

“There is no way that can continue because the South is not subordinate to the North.

“The think tank committee of the YUF will meet soon to look at the issue and see how it affects the Yoruba people.

“However, the development is a wrong signal that must be corrected,” he said.

He also beckoned on Southerners to exercise patience while watching unfolding events.

Adefuye explained that no region could be subordinate to another region.

He said, “What is more worrisome is that the immediate past INEC Chairman, Prof. Attahiru Jega, handed over to a Southerner but the Presidency changed it to a Northerner.

“We are watching and waiting to see what comes out of this new government.

“Southerners are always careful and concerned not to marginalise the North.

“Therefore, I will not expect the North to marginalise the South now that the Presidency is shifted to the region.”

Mr. Yinka Odumakin, National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere stated that he was observing President Buhari’s actions and taking notes of them.

Odumakin who spoke with PUNCH’s correspondents on Friday, July 3, 2015 said, “We have taken a position in Afenifere to watch the President’s actions before we begin to make comments.

“By the time we have a clearer picture of what is happening in the first 100 days of the President in office, we are certainly going to make a comprehensive statement.”

Likewise, the Movement for Oodua Republic, MOR, through its leader, Mr. George Akinola had stated that the country was heading towards total conflict should the situation persist.

in his words; “The country has already been divided along religious lines.

“The fault lines are there and will always be there.

“This will continue until a time when one way or the other a conference or a referendum happens.

“There is no option that is not on the table but at least we will prefer the path of peace.”

The South-Easterner’s views were represented by the President General of Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Gary Enwo-Igariwey who demands of President Buhari to respect the principle of federal character in his appointments.

Enwo-Igariwey stated that, “We expect the President to recognise other nationalities that make up Nigeria.

“Elections are over, it is time for governance.

“We expect that the principle of federal character, which is constitutional, should be respected.

“It is important that in making his appointments, the President should recognise that there are six geo-political zones in the country and it is imperative that he carries all of them along in the spirit of nation building and as a statesman.”

Also, the Igbo World Union and the Ohaneze Youth Council described President Buhari’s appointments as a threat to the corporate existence of Nigeria.

Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, the OYC’s National President stated, “Buhari should not abuse his privileged position as the President of Nigeria for the moment.

“He should not forget our federal system but reflect the federal character in his appointments.

“We are warning him to drop the Northern agenda and govern Nigeria in line with the constitution which he sworn to protect.

“We will hold him by his statement that ‘he is for nobody and for everybody ‘ except he now wants to tell us that he is the President of the North alone.

“Jonathan appointed Northerners as his National Security Adviser, Defence Minister, Inspector-General of Police, Chief of Defence Staff etc. But so far, Buhari has shown us that he has no regard for other parts of the country.”

Dr. Mishak Nnanta, President-General of Igbo World Union, asked President Buhari not to succumb to any ill advice from individuals with parochial interest.

The National President of Njiko Igbo Forum, Reverend Okechukwu Obioha, warned Buhari against running what he described as a “Northern government.”

Obioha expressed the fear that the trend, if left unchecked, could bring the country to destruction.

He said, “Buhari is simply running a Northern government. He is making his appointments as if he is angry with other sections of the country. The appointments are lopsided in favour of the North and that is not acceptable.”

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