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The Federal Parastatals Appointments: Nigeria's Fate Hanging Higgledy-Piggledy On A Decision Of The Northern Youths By Kennedy Emetulu

December 30, 2017

While we are all guffawing at the joke that is the appointment of dead people to boards of federal government parastatals, it’s worth reflecting seriously on the implication of what is going on. In a few days, we will be in 2018, this government came in 2015, so they’ve been there for more than two and half years.

While we are all guffawing at the joke that is the appointment of dead people to boards of federal government parastatals, it’s worth reflecting seriously on the implication of what is going on. In a few days, we will be in 2018, this government came in 2015, so they’ve been there for more than two and half years. 

Our first inkling as to how poor President Muhammadu Buhari is with appointments came when we had to wait for half a year for him to produce a ministerial list. At the time, he told the nation that he had to be careful, he had to search far and wide, he had to put the right people in, even though in the same breath he was telling us that he mostly appoints people he knows, people who have walked through the political wilderness with him. 

Of course, some of us were not amused. Since when did governance degenerate to the level where it’s your pals or people who are in the same political boat with you that you have to appoint to run a national government in a country as big and diverse as Nigeria? Is the idea not to look for competent and suitable people all over the country and appoint them? Is the idea not that they are serving the country and not you? But it was his prerogative, even though it was an unconvincing pitch. The worst of our fears became confirmed when he unveiled a ministerial list that was massively underwhelming. Peopled by idiots, thieves and clueless bastards, Buhari told us they will do the job, even after he himself declared ministerial positions next to useless.

Well, we have seen how good they are, haven’t we?

Yet, there is a sense in thinking things could be salvaged with better appointments into the boards. Some of us have been frustrated with how long it was taking to fill up the boards because, in our conception, the boards are like the legs and hands of the administration. They are the executive hands and legs that actually go out to implement government policies (from Aso Rock and the ministries) on the ground. At a level, we felt, maybe this is the one he actually needs time for because he really has to hit the bull’s eye with his choices; this is the one he has to consult far and near so he can put the right pegs in the right holes. So, we thought. But, now what have we got?

We have a list containing dead people as board chairmen and members! Just sit down and think this through. A government actually thinking of bringing development to the people sat down in committees upon committees, with memos after memos and they came up, after almost three years, with a list containing dead people, dead people that the President himself had acknowledged as dead! This is not a typographical error, this is not just a minor mistake; this is a vision and implementation mistake and it's a very costly and telling one. What this is telling us is that Buhari is not in charge of his government and no one really is in charge of the government. It is a government on autopilot with the President just routinely doing things without thought and oversight. What this is telling us is that if anybody has any hope that the Buhari government is interested in  Nigeria’s development, they are sorely mistaken because nobody interested in development will appoint ghosts into boards of parastatals!

Nigerians, the die is cast! Here is something I directed to Northerners in particular and Nigerians in general in a post I made a few days ago:

“Today, Buhari has squandered the chances of the North contributing meaningfully to developing our democracy under the not-so-perfect system of zoning and rotation, but which still gives us some semblance of stability. President Umaru Yar’Adua was on the way to doing just that before fate played a cruel one on Nigeria. Buhari, the inheritor of that great national goodwill emanating from the rotational idea, has proved to be a child of the anti-democratic industrial-military complex, he has proved without any shadow of a doubt to be interested in the presidency only because of a sense of entitlement, not service. Buhari has proved to be a great servant of corruption in government, he has shown himself to be a lesser patriot than assumed and that is putting it delicately.

“Buhari has shown that he does not have the instincts of an uniter nor the energy and nous of an organizer or a truly inspirational leader. Of course, I'm not talking of a leader that glows under the halo of empty hero worship, but one with really inspirational qualities that will get those around him to want to act perfectly, productively and patriotically. I mean, no one is saying our president has to be a genius, but with his experience in public service, you would think he must have the ability or capability to choose persons who he can manage to bring out the best in them to give the best for our nation. Yet, what we have with him after more than half a year of faffing around in the name of carefully thinking about his choices, is a retinue of idiots and glorified idiots feeding fat on the nation and generally guffawing all the way to the bank, stealing and stashing money away for 2019 while our nation burns. Buhari has become the epitome of wastefulness and cluelessness and it’s difficult looking to the future now with him at the helms to honestly hope that Nigeria will move properly into the 21st century. This is just the honest truth, no matter what side of the partisan divide you belong, as far as you love Nigeria.

“It is my hope that the North, having won the concession to produce the next president in 2019, would think hard about the choice they want to give the nation this time. If they stick to Buhari again, they will not only be shortchanging Nigeria, they will be shortchanging themselves. All they have to do to know he’d be the wrong choice is to look at the rate other African countries are developing with far lesser resources than Nigeria or to look at the way supposed conservative Muslim societies in the Middle East are moving smartly with the times and ahead of the times in some cases. If they think worshipping ineptitude or building a personality cult around someone who cannot run a decent government is their idea of political progress, they will have themselves to blame in the days after his presidency when the North’s turn to be back at the saddle will not be soon. A word is enough to the wise”.

Now, let me be clearer. We all have no other country, but Nigeria and Nigeria is not any person’s property or his or her father’s property. We all have one vote once we are of the voting age. What I said above is very clear as to what we face now. As a nation, we have used the zoning system to stabilize succession. We know AS A MATTER OF FACT that a Northerner will likely be President after the 2019 election because one of the two big parties (the APC and the PDP) is likely to win the presidency with the position already zoned to the North by both parties. Okay, please, I’m not here to joke, I’m being serious, so let no one come here and begin a debate about some third party or some youth party and stuff like that. You and I know that it’s not going to happen because those behind such ideas are not serious. If we had wanted to invest in an alternative succession system, we should have started earlier. Fact is someone from any of these two parties will be President after the 2019 election and the only way we can influence the choice is to vote for a candidate of any of these big parties and let that candidate know we influenced it, so we can have a stake in the government he heads.

Now, this is my message to Northern youths. You hold the key to what happens in 2019. But you need to wake up now and realize that Buhari is not a viable candidate for you or Nigeria. It cannot be clearer, it’s true! If APC presents Buhari, as they are likely to do, they will lose! They think scaring Nigerians with tales of PDP corruption will work in 2019, well, I’m here to tell them for free that it will not work! We may get to a situation where even if the PDP presents a goat, Nigerians will vote that goat in, just with that same angry mentality they used to vote Buhari in ahead of Jonathan in 2015. 

So, Northern youths will need to step in now and change the course of Nigeria’s history for the better. Buhari, whether he is presented and he wins or not will waste your chances, as I noted above. You have the opportunity of presenting a true national leader committed to the national development and unity to oversee our country for four years from 2019; so, make that choice now! Whether you want to start a process that will see Buhari not present himself for reelection in 2019 or an internal battle within the APC to defeat him in a primary (if held), just do it! Make sure he is not the ‘Northern candidate’ for 2019 because he will fail! Nigerians have taken a full measure of the man and he does not measure up! He needs to leave the stage and go take care of himself, Nigeria is bigger than him! So, if your party is the APC, work to ensure you present another Northerner, a viable candidate for 2019. Do not fall for ‘continuity’ or the farce that only Buhari can do it! He will lose! Don’t think Bola Tinubu will deliver because he does not have the magic to influence Nigerians to give Buhari another chance. In fact, Tinubu himself has to seriously start looking at his options. Anyone with Buhari is sure going down! Northern youths, save Nigeria!

And, of course, if you are not in the APC and would not likely vote an APC candidate, then zero in on what is going on in the PDP and ensure that any Northern candidate the party produces as its presidential flag-bearer in 2019 has the character to lead and inspire all of us to raise our nation to a higher level.

So, that’s my message to Northern youths, start thinking! Our future is in your hands! Save Nigeria!