Revisiting Nigeria’s Federalism Under President Muhammadu Buhari – By Adedayo Osho
In a long anticipated move, President Muhammadu Buhari made another six appointments on August 27, 2015 in what reaffirms the perception that southerners are shortchanged. What informed outcry owes to heterogeneous diversity of the Nigerian state and the need to incorporate every ethnic majority/minority regardless of its number. It is important to note that if Federalism is what the country boast to practice, the composition of varying governments must reflect its diverse nature so as to generate political support, with end giving a sense of belonging.
Any case made in defense of meritocracy for appointments without respect for national colouration should be rendered baseless and pointless. Before things get out of hand, the president should be advised not to open old wounds by elevating northerners as being sanctimonious than the rest. For instance, it is the peak of eye-service to declare of not “belonging to nobody and belong to everybody” but fuelling ‘politics of cronyism’ at the detriment of national cohesiveness.
In a June 2015 column, I suggested that, the president’s ability to strengthen relations beyond northern hemisphere opens the prospects of gaining support and recording himself as the country’s most popularly elected leader when his regime falls in 2019. But in the passage of time and as political events unfold, it appears things will be gloomy for our brothers across River Niger with Hausawa elites smiling daily while their counterparts keep gnashing teeth, most especially, the Oduduwas.
It saddens the heart how we forget happenings so fast in Nigeria or fail to learn from history. One of the factors which precipitated the oust of then-president Goodluck Jonathan is currently playing itself out – dominance of top government offices by kinsmen. Those who blow Kakkaki and Vuvuzella that the principle of federal character is not necessarily relevant in pursuit of better life as promised by Buhari should rethink such idea. Aside from glaringly obvious cases of chronic corruption in that government, the doctor of Zoology was rallied against by a fragmented Southwest and power-thirsty North because they felt their place was not duly accorded.
Although clarification need be made that the whole of Northern Nigeria should not be misconstrued for Hausa speaking people alone since the region consists of many tribes whom till eternity will never claim allegiance to Hausa/Fulani race, yet, the rest of the country conceive of them as Arewa like they have been claiming long ago.
I leave you with this dialectical question “what would last election look like had the rest of the ethnic nationalities not partake?
Adedayo Osho is a columnist and political analyst. Follow on Tweeter @Jahpolitical