President Muhammadu Buhari’s (PMB’s) appointment of his close aides has stirred some controversy. Particularly livid are some political actors from the Southeast, followed by a fringe from the Southwest; considered to be the order of neglect, as figuratively demonstrated by a national newspaper.
With 30 appointments made so far, covering the military, the para-military, and the close aides of the presidency, the paper graphically represented the zero patronage for the Southeast. Many political actors have angrily described the appointments as sectional, parochial and an abuse of the constitutional provision on federal character.
PMB, reportedly, has taken the protests in his chin, and has promised to look farther afield in future appointments. Expectedly, many sympathisers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who lost their voice after the shellacking by PMB and his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), have been gloating, claiming that they had forewarned that the man hates unabashedly, the Southeasterners. For them, the recent appointments have vindicated them. Agreed, the recent appointments clearly favoured the North, but if I may ask, what gain did those appointed from the Southeast in the immediate past regime bring to their states?
I am afraid that if there were any exceptional benefits, then it was substantially personal. So, except the style of governance changes, which is the hope of Nigerians under the government of PMB, the fact that this cadre of appointments have favoured the North may amount to nothing of significance in the lives of the people. Even the Southwest, which had the privilege of producing former President Olusegun Obasanjo for eight years, continues to strenuously argue that the regime did not bring them any special succour.
While I have no enthusiasm to defend PMB from those now gloating that they told the APC’s sympathisers that they have entered what in Nigerian parlance, is referred to as “a one chance bus”; (i.e., a bus controlled by rough necks, who will rob a passenger of his/her belongings, and then push him/her out of the bus); I had wished that one of the die-hard APC stalwarts, such as Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Dr. Chris Ngige, or even any of the less prominent ones, had been honoured with a top position in the kitchen cabinet. My thinking is that such an appointment would have brought serious enthusiasm to the ongoing effort to build a stronger APC in the Southeast.
But the president still has opportunities to demonstrate his pan-Nigerian broadmindedness, as there are still many more appointments to be made. One such opportunity would be the key ministerial appointments, particularly the economic team, which is yet to be fully constituted. As we witnessed under Presidents Obasanjo and Jonathan, the more influential associates of the presidents were not members of the famed kitchen cabinets. After all, while the cook works in the kitchen, he reserves the choicest meals for those that end up in the dining area.
Gov. Ugwuanyi and Wawa House
Since May 29, 2015, I have not commented on the style of governance of the new helmsman at the Lion building, the seat of government, of Enugu State. As predicted on this page, before the elections, Governor IfeanyiUgwuanyi, popularly referred to as Gburugburu, rode into power, with minimal stress. As a scion of the famed Ebeano family, his forbearers, Governors Chimaroke Nnamani and Sullivan Chime, had already paved the road to the building, with blood, tears and subterfuge;whileforbidding any match, by an opposition party.
Indeed, the succession plans of the Ebeano, has not failed them, yet. What usually fails them, is managing ‘the successes’. In my village, when the infant is presented to the village sage, during the naming ceremony, the sage would intone: phuoezeenu, igaephukaani, (grow the upper tooth, before you grow, the lower tooth); among other admonitions, forbidding any abnormality. The challenge of the Ebeano family, is usually how to avoid abnormalities, like a child, spewing shit, into his father’s face, for a minor or no reason at all.
So, you see a successor governor, growing all the lower teeth, before any of the upper ones. And to make matters worse, they use it to clobber their forbearers. That was the faith of Chief Jim Nwobodo, the progenitor of Ebeano family; same for Dr. Nnamani, the founder of Ebeano family. Of note, Chime, the immediate past governor, has after the debacle of a failed Senate seat, opted to stay away from the flurry of power and influence peddling. Who knows, that may save him. Gburugburu, so far acting his name, appears to be treading a different part.
Last Thursday, I had tried to locate the Enugu State Liaison Office, to obtain the state of origin certificate, a requirement for admission, into government colleges. Believing that the Wawa house was my destination, I made my way to the Victoria Island location.With the rains pummelling my windshield, I was hoping to drive into the premises; after all, I had reasoned, that the compound is big enough to take in a bonafide visitor. But nay, no deal, as the place was locked.
Surprisingly, I was told at the adjourning Imo Liaison Office, that the office had been relocated, to another part of town. When I raised the issue with some indigenes later, they were angst that the WaWa House was leased out, and another house, hired, as liaison office. Gburugburu, I hope that transaction was done in the best interest of our state?