The government and the people

“The composition of the government of the federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or in any of its agencies” –

Section 14 (3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)
I was watching an interview that featured Barrister Festus Okoye on one of our local stations when someone called and said: “I have been experiencing constant light in my neighbourhood since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office, I really don’t mind if all his ministerial appointments are from Daura.”
This is a misconception Nigerians who are agents of change should not have.

We must understand that the provision of the Constitution is supreme, the ‘grund norm’ is what prescribes the function of the office of the president, and the office derives its legitimacy from the Constitution. The president cannot act in contravention with its provisions no matter how genuine his intention. “This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

Prior to the elections, there were campaign ads by the PDP that Baba (Buhari) had attributes of a dictator. Most Nigerians didn’t care. We were all passionate about change and worked together to achieve it. The change is finally here to the excitement and benefit of many, but we must not be carried away and ruin what took sixteen (16) years to accomplish.

Truth be said, a father cannot have five children and feed only four, the same way the president cannot favour one ethnic group to the detriment of others, in terms of appointment, in order to foster national unity.

Jerome Iroagalachi Esq: “There is a legal issue whether he can do so or not, but leaving the provisions of the Constitution aside, is it ethically or morally correct to make appointments from one region? If the appointment is based on merit, can we honestly say to ourselves that merit is restricted to one region? If the answer is in the negative, then it is best for our democracy if the president carries other ethnic groups in his appointment.”

Change is either progressive or retrogressive. Leaders of the new age should demonstrate the change to ensure Nigerians don’t think we are being fooled by the new government, merit and trust is not secluded to a particular region. Credibility and competence of an individual is relative, a person can be to one and not to another, something cannot be wrong and we close our eyes to it because we want change.

Some citizens feel the government of Baba is a northern affair, while this writer is optimistic about the new government, it is imperative that in maintaining change we are sincere to ourselves or face the possibility of returning to the earlier years.

We must call a spade a spade, change must not only be said to be done, but it must be seen to be done.
“It SHALL be the duty and responsibility of all organs of government and all authorities and persons, exercising legislative, executive or judicial powers, to conform to, observe and apply the provisions of this chapter of this constitution”, Section (13) 1999 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria {as amended} emphasis mine.

To whom much is given, much is expected. Some regions are not happy with the president’s appointment so far, they feel alienated in their own country because they exercised their voting rights in favour of another.

The special adviser on media and publicity to the president has assured Nigerians that there would be a balance in the ministerial appointments, one can only hope that the appointments expected to be made this September reflect federal character as enshrined in the Constitution, true agents of change should not let the president act otherwise.

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