Presidential Cronies Conference By Nasiru Suwaid
There is this local adage, though it has usually existed in most language dictions, linguistic groups and dialectic variations all over the world, which simple says: it doesn’t add up, which definitively means; It is neither the truth nor it does not make any sense. It was the Nigerian Bar Association notice of rejection, which made me to find a perfect depiction or an appropriate match to the expression in the recently released guidelines for the National Conference. Specifically, it is the refusal to accept the single slot allocated to the lawyer’s national trade union, which caught my attention and galvanized my interest as well as motivated me to seek an understanding into the intricate projections that produced the nomination list of the new national talking congress, where majority of Nigerians are expected to bare their minds and find solutions to all the sectional, ethnic and religious disagreements, dissatisfactions, disaffections and disunity bedeviling the citizenry cumulatively as well as the country structurally.
Actually, upon hearing of the rejection, what repetitively pricked my mind was the allocation of six members to the judiciary, on which none of them is to come from the bench or how they are expected to emerge on the choosing of stakeholders. The thought that immediately came to mind, was that after divorcing national legal practitioner’s parent body as nominator, the only legitimate stakeholder left is the Ministry of Justice, a federal department employing a segmented collection of attorneys as state counsels, as well as normal ministerial staff, but all the same, an executive governmental agency under an Attorney General and Commissioners of Justice, who is an appointee of the president, thus directly answerable to him, it is easily assumed that however he acts, it is as if it is done by his principal. As such, the allocation to the Federal Government of Nigeria, as ably personified by the office of Nigerian president is not just allocated the twenty slots, the six reserved for the judiciary, should as well be lumped unto the office, because, constitutionally, a minister in Nigeria only serve at the behest and pleasure of the president, as it is for an agent who must always act on the direction of the principal.
The next set of proposed delegates to the conference, who should have undivided loyalty to the president, thus should automatically be taken as his nominees are those from the association of retired military officers, retired police officers, retired State Security Services and the retired Nigerian Intelligence Agency officers, whom should nominate six members each and who by the tenets of their profession, hardly disagree with the government or its representative in office or rather, to put it more plainly, they regard any disloyalty towards the commander-in-chief as a highly treasonable act. After exploring the loyalty of the security services to the president, even if retired, then came the groups whom we can legitimately claim, have no validly identifiable stakeholder base, as they only exist to relate with the government of the day, thus their predictable character pattern is always pandering towards Any Government in Power. In this category with six members are the retired civil servants, Nigerians in Diaspora, other outstanding youths and role models, Nigerian Youth Council of Nigeria.
Of course, within this category of nominees are the groups who do not even exist, except during election season, when an incumbent in office need a propitious endorsement, to continue to enjoy the ostentatious executive perks of office that is only available in a country such as ours. It is during this period, nebulous political movements emerge to endorse the president, amongst this groups who have gained entry into the national conference with six delegations each are the Association of Former Senators in Nigeria, Association of Former House of Representatives Members, Association of Former Speakers of the State Houses of Assembly and Association of Former Chairmen of Local Governments in Nigeria. The allotment of six members to National Association of Nigerian Students and 24 delegates to Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria, should not have raised an eyebrow, except for the fact that the student body have sold out to the government, thus always ready to do its bidding, while in the context of Nigeria as a country, many civil society groups only exist to serve the wishes of the highest bidder, especially to the type of government that could allegedly attempt to bribe OhanaEze Ndigbo so openly.
Ordinarily, the allocated seats to the socio-political, cultural and ethnic nationality groups, whom have been pledged ninety seats, with fifteen each going to the six geopolitical zones. Usually such associations should never be thought as coming under the influence of any individual, talk less of Nigerian presidency, as by their deed of formation, they only exist to serve the general representative creed interest. Unfortunately, that self righteous ascription could not be applicable here, as the South-South regional grouping has already proclaimed obedience, to whatever the president might wish to propose as his demand on the conference and most importantly, they have asked the Nigerian leader to contest the 2015 presidential elections as a right, with a none negotiable proviso that the characteristic democratic double edge sword of either winning or losing shall not apply to him, as in the case of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, they only project victory, which is that should he be rejected at the polls, it would be a valid ground to fritter the Nigerian union at the Abuja congregation.
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