President Muhammadu Buhari’s first time around in 2015 held out a lot of promises for many Nigerians who held him in very high esteem drawing from the military administration where he held forte as the junta alongside Brigadier Idiagbon. His campaign promises to transform Nigeria into an Eldorado were taken very serious as fait accompli.
While many looked up to him with optimism the clear signs of bad governance and incompetence reared its head when he took about six months to appoint his cabinet members. Expectations were very high that the unprecedented delay in picking the cabinet members would manifest near angels given the level of integrity associated with the president as an incorruptible man.
One area in which very high performance was expected and required of Buhari was in welding the country together given the multiple ethnicity of the country. The application of the rule of law was one process through which the unity of the country could be preserved. Many were therefore disappointed when the president appointed his service chiefs without any coming from the south east region which is one of the major ethnic groups that make up the tripod on which Nigeria stands.
This is clear violation of the federal character principle as enshrined in our statute books. Many tongues wagged in protest especially from the Igbo nation but the number one citizen was unmoved by such expressions of opposing views. As a major actor that fought the civil war to keep Nigeria together it was not expected to see around or associate Buhari with any matter that would threaten the peace and unity of the country.
The insecurity level in the country soared very high under this regime that the acts of banditry, raping, killing and destruction of lives and properties overwhelm the country’s security apparatuses. The Boko Haram terrorists, the bandits, the cattle rustlers, the kidnappers, rapists, cultists, etc ran rings around our security operatives to avery embarrassing level.
This led to the numerous strident calls for the sack of the security chiefs by Nigerians who felt that they have ran out of ideas and should quit the scene to allow fresh minds rejig the system. Every call from within and outside the country practically fell on deaf ears as the president stuck to his gun for reasons best known to him.
It was therefore a pleasant surprise when he woke up last month to announce their sack after six years in office. It would be recalled that while they held sway the Senate, an arm of the national assembly, on three different occasions took out resolutions calling for their removal.
This also did not move the president.
Following their sack and appointment of new hands, the Igbo nation continued to face their marginalization because none was picked from the southeast region. The outrage had hardly died down when the president re-appointed the four sacked service chiefs as non-career ambassadors and surprisingly got their nominations approved by the same senate that had called for their heads.
Tongues are wagging in protest of the actions of the president and the upper chamber of the national assembly. The new jobs assigned them in some quarters have allegedly been interpreted as a reward for actualizing the Fulani agenda. The senate is not expected to speak from both sides of the mouth on critical issues like this. They are seen acting as the president’s stooges.
News Echo frowns at the action of the president and the senate which it views as a celebration and promotion of incompetence. If Nigerians have shut down the performance of the service chiefs and called for their sack it is inconceivable that their actions can reverse in the minds of the people their sub-optimal performance while they held sway.
Buhari is only setting a wrong precedence and justifying the tag of an incompetent leader that has been tagged against him. Nigeria presently is drifting and requires positive and very strong policy actions to bail it out from the woods.
We find it difficult to understand why the nation’s citizens are serving in very top positions in the so called advanced nations of the country but down home our leadership is populated by a crop of incompetent, mediocre, selfish and corrupt people who are constantly putting their subjects on the firing range through wrong and useless policy actions.
Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and material resources and should have no reason to go through the challenges it is grappling with most of which are self inflicted.
News Echo once again rejects the actions of the country’s political actors who are influenced more by selfish reasons than altruistic purposes.
Nigerians want a positive change and there is no better time to do so than now. We have had enough.