Inequality in President Buhari’s appointments
In any democratic government the main dividend of democracy are: having opportunity of being elected or appointed in to position, getting a juicy contract to be executed and having access to good governance through the policy, project and programme of the government. While the first two are always going into the hands of political and economic elite, the last one is where the masses feel the positive impact of democracy in their life.
Therefore, people concerned about the identity of who is in government are irrelevant. But still to make everybody have sense of belonging in government, there is equity and justice in the formation of government with fair representation of people according to their divisions.
Since the return of democracy in 1999 anybody that becomes President always encounter the challenge of different sections of the country crying out whenever they fell short of their people in government, that is the reason when President Buhari made the appointment of his kitchen cabinet, there was an outcry of marginalization especially from the South East and South South region (where the President got less than 10% of the vote),because 75% of the appointment made were from the North, eventually the president made promise to balance it up in the future appointments.
Moreover, the President has appointed his ministers based on constitutional provision of one minister per state at least, but the question now is does he balance it up as he has promised? Certainly no, because he only takes the cognizance of state and ethnicity in to consideration but he neglected religious aspect of it, particularly as it affected the people of the southwest. With respect to federal appointment, since 2003 southwest Muslims had been marginalized and the worse was the case during the Jonathan administration when the Muslims in the south West protested against the formation of CONFAB delegate in which they were excluded but without positive response, and made them determined not to support him in 2015 general election.
Be that as it may, due to the faith and hope of getting justice during Buhari’s government, Southwest Muslims overwhelmed voted for him during the election. Having done that in support of Buhari when other side voted against him, but to our dismay, out of ten appointments (including ministers) made from the southwest only two are Muslims, this is a great political injustice to Southwest Muslims. Though the president said “I belong to nobody and I belong to everybody” he has not really demonstrated that to those who stood by him during the election “a friend in need is a friend indeed”.
However, we wish to commend the sincerity and determination of the President to have credible people in his government but no group has monopoly of credibility. Therefore, he needs to consider the political plight of Southwest Muslims in this regards by addressing this anomaly it in his future appointment.
Abdulwasiu Adebayo, National Coordinator, Concerned Muslims Vanguard