The fundamental ideals of freedom of speech often generate diversity of thoughts and reasoning with positive and negative implications on topical issues in the society. Affinity in our clime has proved to be threatening to peoples’ sense of judgment on policy matters especially when the thrust of those policies checkmates greed and selfishness among a particular power block.
It is not demeaning to state that the alarming level of dependency of people on political office holders accounts for irrational behaviours and social malaise that culminated to the misfortunes inherited by the present administration. We seem too eager of our benefactors’ ascendancy to the ranks that will increase our benefits, an odd mentality of dark ages dubiously polished as loyalty, resulting to the proliferation of corruption and economic maladies.
It is really disheartening to note the odious rave from the South on the appointment of Kitchen cabinet by Mr President. The raves cast aspersions on the good discretion of the President in accommodating Southerners as close allies, a mischief targeted at tainting his discretion as either doubtful or wrong and as such should not be trusted with our collective mandate or how can one better explain the allegation of biasness against the President.
The issues at stake transcend ordinary party affiliations as the alibi for the ill-conceived criticism is the Federal Character which is applicable only circumstantially, when other germane parameters primarily dictates the basis of comparison of personalities for appointments, this alibi becomes secondary with all intents and purposes.
The thoughts that all Nigerians are determined for a new lease of life where economic prosperity will elude none relayed a relief to adherents of change, but the new wave of disapproval of the direction being set for Nigerians by this new administration by self-serving critics in the South indicates an urgent need for a rethink as the challenges ahead seems enormous and must not be treated with levity, if we must progress as a Country.
Criminals are mindless of the fates of the victims of their crimes; same applies to fraudulent politicians who are mindless of the future of the Country. The South to a very large extent served as the conscience of this Country before the last administration, as the North was predominantly populated with conformist who aligns with any government in power but the tide seems to be changing from the last administration and except for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his team in the South West, Rotimi Amaechi/Oshiomole and team in the South South and Ogbonaya Onu/Rochas Okorocha and team in the South East, this Country would have been in dilemma now, but they salvaged the unity of the Country with their holy alliance with the ultimate wishes of the populace when it mattered most in the interest of this Country and on that noble path they should remain steadfastly with hope of a brighter rewarding future for the populace.
The trust entrusted by these Political Leaders of Southern extraction on Muhammadu Buhari at the last general election was ultimately based on their zeal and crave for good governance and return of sanity into the system for the glorious benefits of all citizens, I begin to wonder if those raving on the appointments of people from North as Chief Of Staff to Mr President and Secretary to the Government of Federation never thought their actions smears the good image of the South on their rave against Mr President on errand boys positions.
At the election of the Speaker of the Federal House of Representatives on 6th June, 2015, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila from the South West lost to Hon Yakubu Dogara with a difference of 8 Votes in an election where all PDP Members of the House of Representatives from the South aligned with the North by voting for Dogara where Gbajabiamila and voted against the Candidate from the South under the guise of either vendetta or slicing the influence of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who was a leading promoter of Gbajabiamila for Speaker which makes the South architects of their misfortunes.
The title of the Chief of Staff is not more than the head of servants to Mr President or better still, the handler of Mr President a position that possess little or no influence in general administration of government policies while the occupant of position of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation serve as a Secretary to the Federal Cabinet and only takes briefs from Mr President or on his behalf equally with little or no influence in decision making. Apart from the exclusive functions of the President, only Ministers and heads of agencies have influence in the cabinet and that is where Federal Character is sacrosanct.
Except we tend to posit that crooked activities will be prevalent within the corridors of power like the last administration where Office of Chief of Staff or Secretary to the Government of Federation served as platforms for criminal manipulations and fraudulent activities then the rage against Mr President is not only preposterous but a misplaced priority ad infinitum.
We should strive for true federalism with an entrenched Local Government Administration where peculiarities of each community will determine their priority outside the essential services provided by Government to the people while the excesses of State Governors must be challenged especially in terms of policy formulations and implementations to conform to best practices and effective service delivery.
Ode to the West Wind was a poem by Shelley in 1820, the poet describes the violence of the ‘Wild West Wind’ and of nature itself, causing so much destruction in the autumn, but at the same time he finds it good because it prepares the way for new life in the spring “Be through my lips to unawaken’d earth, the trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind, if winter comes, can spring be far behind?” Wind could be very destructive but it is imperative for a downpour, in the same vein, the wind must blow off parochial interest along ethnic and religious partitions in Nigeria for the downpour of good governance and rule of law to prevail in Nigeria.
The decision of Mr President to make integrity his watchword should reawaken our consciousness to the fact that smear and campaign of calumny aimed at getting rid of perceived political rival majorly prevalent among Politicians in the South have its adverse effect on the image of the personalities with integrity within the fold.
When Governor Wike of Rivers State commenced his vicious attack against his predecessor over temporary rivalry among the duo that were best of friends years ago, little did he know that he was damaging the interest his benefactor or how do you expect Mr President to flagrantly disregard those accusations with the wave of the hand considering the timing. Former Governor Rotimi Amaechi surely has his usefulness in other key positions in government; his charismatic and oratory prowess is too outstanding to be ignored and will certainly make a big wave in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, it is Governor Wike that must watch his steps as the table will turn against him if the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal order a fresh election in Rivers State.
In my assessment of our Class Captain as fondly called by APC Governors in South West, Former Governor of Lagos State Babatunde Raji Fashola, the position of Chief of Staff to Mr President is highly derogatory to his personality except we undervalue his plenteous capabilities. Those attacks against him from his allies on the imperfection of his administration though ill-conceived should be viewed as a call for caution in his future endeavours in governance and should be taking by him in good faith and realign with the structures that facilitated his ascendancy to the exalted seat of Lagos State Governor in Lagos State, I urge him to live above the division caused by the rivalry between the two major political interest ( Justice Forum vs Mandate) within the rank of APC in Lagos State.
The ultimate demand of good governance and rule of law is merit but it cannot subsist in isolation, merit implies equitable consideration of the best person in line for a particular assignment. We elected Mr President in a mood of cautious optimism for excellence in the discharge of the duties of his office and his credibility that earned the confidence of the populace must remain untamed and should never allow the manoeuvres of the political elites within the corridors of power derail his utmost consideration for the populace, as an adherent of Change, I would not doubt the worthy intentions of our estimable President and urge the populace to sincerely form a human shield around his intentions for our collective good.
Comrade AbdulRahman Agboola
Mass Action for Good Governance and Grassroots Development in Nigeria