Skip to main content


May 27, 2008
Afenifere had in February 2008 warned the nation of the increasing northernisation of power by President Umaru Yar’Adua in a country that is supposed to be a Federal Republic. We observed that Yar’Adua had selected most of his key aides from the North and that has created fears about the possible absence of national perspective from the president’s inner council. We pointed out that the patterns of appointment created a situation where the Joint Intelligence Board, which coordinates information sharing between the security agencies would meet and there may not be a non-northern face. On the economic front, the Ministers for National Planning and Finance would sit with the Chief Economic Adviser to develop policy for the whole country and they are all from the North. We concluded that the situation was a throwback to the military days when northern officials stocked their inner teams with fellow northerners. We had thought that the President would be moved to consider our observation and ensure that the Federal Character principle enshrined in the Constitution prevails. But alas, the pattern of further appointments since then has shown that there is a deliberate attempt to northernise power. Like the witch lady who continues to give birth to female children, the President has continued to load his appointments with northerners that we can say without equivocation on his first anniversary that we have a Federal Government of the North! The latest of such appointments have been the replacement of the President’s National Assembly Liaison, Senator Florence Ita-Giwa with Senator Aba Aji, NTA’s Director General Toni Iredia with Usman Magawata, EFCC’s Acting Chairman, Ibrahim Lamorde with Farida Waziri, and Customs Comptroller-General, Gyang Buba with Mr. Hamman Ahmed.Ahmed is an Assistant Comptroller with three Southern Deputy Comptrollers from the South ahead of him. BEHOLD FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF THE NORTH (F.G.N)! Office Incumbent State of Origin President Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua Katsina Senate President Senator David Mark Benue Chief Justice Justice Legbo Kutigi Niger SFG Amabassador Babagana Kingibe Borno Energy & Power Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua Katsina Chief of Staff General Abdullahi Mohammed Kwara Minister of Finance Dr. Shamsudeen Bello Kano Minister of Defence Alhaji Yayale Ahmed Bauchi Minister of National Planning Sanusi Daggash Borno Chief Economic Adviser Tanimu Kurfi Katsina DG SSS Afas Gadzama Yobe Accountant General Ibrahim Dankwabo North Controller General Customs Hamman Ahmed Adamawa Attorney General Michael Aondoakaa Borno EFCC Farida Waziri North NTA DG Usman Magawata Sokoto National Assembly Liaison Senator Aba Aji North NNPC Group MD Engr. Abubakar Yar’Adua North Police Reforms Panel Alhaji M.D. Yusuf Katsina Energy Council Rilwan Lukman Kaduna Electoral Reforms Justice M.Uwais Katsina These are speculations that Alhaji Bello Sulaiman would be reappointed as GMD of PHCN while another Northerner may replace CBN Governor, Charles Soludo soon! But no dividends! Apologists Yar’Adua may want to say that governance is about sourcing for the best hands no matter their origin. But even the evil one in Otta, Olusegun Obasanjo in spite of his many vices could not be accused of finding the best hands among only the Yoruba in his eight years in office. The truth really is that the Yoruba were wondering if they didn’t have people like El-Rufais, Ribadus, Nenadi Usmans etc from the North and the Akinyulis, Soludos, Okonjo Iwealas, Ezekwezilis etc from the East. Like the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) that through crooked means hijacked power in nearly everywhere in Nigeria but has not been able to govern, what has this team of sectional “best hands” delivered in one year? The last one year has been that of inertia, lack of focus, policy reversals, ruse of law, underdevelopment and breakdown in governance. While campaigning in 2007, President Yar’Adua promised to declare emergency in power and energy within 100 days, one year after that remains a threat and the nation has only enjoyed more darkness, adulterated fuel and hundreds of deaths in pipeline explosions. One year after the prices of food items have gone beyond the reach of the people that those on minimum wage have to log two months salaries to buy a bag of rice. The much advertised “rule of law” mantra is daily proving to be a ruse as it has served mainly the interest of those of patrons of corruption. In one year of Yar’Adua we are having the third person in the saddle of EFCC all in an attempt to pacify corrupt people who brought the regime to power. Nigerians are wondering why Lamorde had to be hurriedly replaced with Acting Chairman, Farida Waziri by the “rule of law” regime. All that is filtering out is that Lamorde was about to charge more of the Ex-Governors and the owner of Societe Generale Bank when corruption moved and gave a nominee to head the EFCC. It would not shock them if tomorrow they hear that one of the ex-Governors charged by Ribadu has been appointed as the Head of the EFCC. Those charged with mind-boggling financial crimes now stroll in and out of the villa with interview sessions to offer opinions on the way forward after sessions with Mr. President. Virtually all infrastructures have gone from bad to worse. There are no roads anywhere as most state Governors now charter planes for domestic trips. We recently lost 46 soldiers in one road accident recently, a daily figure of casualties that is doubtful for any well equipped army at the war front in recent times. Ironically these soldiers survived in Darfur only to be claimed by the undeclared war going on at home. Our heath facilities have entered a state of comatose that it is only those who have no other choice that go to our hospitals now. If Sani Abacha were to be alive, we would ask him to compare what we have today with the “consulting clinics” of 1984. To President Yar’Adua we say: Nigeria is dying and needs urgent revival. It is time to get the best hands across Nigeria to salvage the situation; it is no time for irredentist and obscene sectional politics. Yinka Odumakin National Publicity Secretary

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('comments'); });

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content1'); });

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('content2'); });