The Nigerian Constitution, Lopsided Appointments and Northern Leaders


The Nigerian Constitution is arguably under test: the reason is not far from President Buhari’s apparent lopsided appointments and near disdain in ignoring larger parts of the country. The Legislative arm of government is supposed to put him under check, but they are so far from this. Now, at a time the nation is bleeding and just recovering from the shock of baseless murders of innocent rice farmers in the North, not to mention Garba Shehu’s gaffe about those killed for not obtaining military clearance, the President ramped up the wounds by yet another of his mindless lopsided appointment—a new northern director-General for the National Agency for the prohibition of Trafficking in persons!  By appointing Imam Suleiman-Ibrahim, the President flouted the law establishing the agency. The new appointee is a dealer in Mary Kay products with no practical experience about governance. Nigerians were actually looking forward to the President’s condolence visit to the state where the massacre took place, and even respond to rejig the security apparatus; then out of the blues came the news of the removal of the former director-General whose tenure has not ended! Nigeria has not really descended to this abysmal level of impunity and this is where the fate of the Nigerian Constitution comes in. Does the president have a carte blanche to do whatever he likes?  This is the big question now. Even then he needs to be creative and steer clear from incompetency. The Constitution is for the Federal Republic of Nigeria but at the moment no one is sure how that sacred document is interpreted. Never at a time in the history of this country has there been such recklessness in a multi-diverse and ethnic society like Nigeria. This is why elected officials take the oath of office. If then the Constitution is not obeyed why should the oath of office be respected? There is nowhere in the Constitution that gives this President the right to flood federal agencies with his people. That is fueling discontent and distrust.  A new generation of Nigerians are already in the streets. These young Nigerians are not happy; they want to live together with their brothers from the south; they are more concerned with technological advances than this so-called archaic and ethnic-based politics. This consistent attitude of trying to foist a sort of hegemony over the others instead of emulating global trends is viewed as a shock by many who had all along regarded the president as a role model. In case he does not know, stuffing Federal positions with the same ethnic people is old fad—and outdated and can never be sustained. This brand of politics happening in this 21st century is incredibly amazing for a Nigerian ruler who is supposed to be a bridge-builder. What is needed is moderation.  After all, they all voted for him. So what is the fuss about sideling others?   Going further, the Northern Governors themselves have not helped matters. Their dalliance with uncertainties is not only unethical but lacks integrity. They have got to show character and strong moral disposition. There have the potentials but lack the vision; they must provide amenities for their people; they must desist from constant politicking; “power” mongering all the time cannot put food on the table or safeguard life and property?  The north can be great again, but that’s only when they learn to regard other parts of the country as one.  Nigeria’s leaders must shelve their personal sentiments and do the right thing.  Everyone deserves the same treatment. To even think they are trying to tamper with the social media that has helped curtail their impunity is something else.  This is why certain persons due for retirement unnecessarily have their stay extended while their successors are denied their rights. The President should be aware of the principles of time management and purposeful leadership.  This nation has come to stay and nothing –not even the worst ethnocentric leadership can alter its course. Any wonder why the nation is undergoing a recession? Leadership with vision, conviction and direction is what is required –not only sectional appointments and elevation of proxies!