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PoliticsAppointments: Why Tinubu should be careful of wolves in sheep skin

Appointments: Why Tinubu should be careful of wolves in sheep skin

Appointments: Why Tinubu should be careful of wolves in sheep skin
By Barr. K Ahmed
As Nigeria awaits a new dawn on the 29 May 2023 when the president elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu will take the reins of authority in the most powerful black nation on earth, and as Nigerians await another peaceful democratic transition with bated breath, one issue that is at the center of the success or otherwise of the next administration rest with the people upon which the president will rely on to carry out the reforms and changes critical for the success of his administration.
Despite the massive goodwill which president Muhammadu Buhari enjoys in the eyes of most Nigerians who are ready to make even the supreme sacrifice for his government to succeed, the outgoing government largely failed to achieve its high-end campaign promises on account of indecision, nepotism, procrastination and appointing people with deficiency in character, loyalty or both.
Although it is our candid hope that Tinubu, a goal getter with a penchant for bequeathing lasting legacies will hit the ground running, nevertheless, in other to avoid the mistakes of his predecessor, it is important to enumerate some very salient issues that are brewing as power struggle for juicy positions in his administration rages.
These issues if not well tackled may become a cog in the wheel of his administration’s progress and may constitute a stumbling block to the vision of the president elect to reset Nigeria in the next couple of years.
One very important lesson that the president elect should not side step is the fact that under no circumstance should he trade friendship or personal affiliation for merit. It is the informed view of this writer that political offices should not be ceded to individuals on account of closeness to the president elect or personal relationship but on account of their loyalty, dedication, hard work, merit, commitment to the success of the party and their personal capacities to deliver their assigned responsibilities.
It is on this note that I wish to draw the attention of the president elect to some disturbing happenings in Adamawa State where some power mongers close to him who albeit worked against his ambition are now arrogating to themselves, the powers to appoint their cronies into the next cabinet come what may.
Worst still, they are now working round the clock to ensure that every critical appointment from Adamawa State goes to the members of their immediate family in order to consolidate their hegemony and control on Adamawa State.
It is now an open secret in Adamawa State that Malam Nuhu Ribadu has already secured for himself as he wrongly thinks, the juicy office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) and is now basking in the euphoria of his close affinity with Tinubu to think that he can play God by yet working to ensure that Modi Halilu, president Muhammadu Buhari’s in-law and Aisha Buhari’s younger brother secures ministerial position from the state.
Both Modi and Ribadu have congenial ties as they both hail from the same family. In the estimation of many analyst, it is delusional for Ribadu to think that the only thing he is bringing to the table to merit such an important and critical appointment is his personal relationship with the president elect not merit, because if merit is the requisite requirement for the job, then his dream of getting it is already dead on arrival.
The thinking that the president elect will appoint an Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of Police who left the service in controversial circumstances when the country is battling with serious insecurity in the form of banditry, kidnapping, Boko Haram insurgency, IPOB militancy and other numerous security threats is simply narcissistic.
Even though the president elect has the discretion to appoint the person of his choice to superintendent the important portfolio, will it not amount to repeating the same costly mistake committed by his predecessor if he appoints the least qualified person as NSA?
It is apt to recall that even in his hey days in the police force, Ribadu has no intelligence background which is a critical requirement for success into such important office. Will the president elect not save himself from needless controversies if he forgo Ribadu and select any of the retired Army generals who met the challenging and composite requirements to be appointed into the office?
And in the same breath, Tinubu should beware that both Ribadu and Modi and even Aisha Buhari who is bracing to chair NCWS wholeheartedly supported Atiku in their move to ensure that a northerner succeeds Buhari as encapsulated in their northernisation agenda which is the main reason why Tinubu loss woefully in Adamawa State. In the same breath, their double standard and open support for Atiku is the reason why they all failed to deliver their polling units, wards, local governments and the state to Tinubu in the last presidential election despite collecting over N2bn campaign funds.
It was mind numbing to recall that despite collecting such huge amount of funds from the presidential campaign council, APC polling agents were mostly absent in most polling units across Adamawa State over the failure of Ribadu and his cohorts to mobilize them to the polling units making it easier for the PDP agents in collusion with corrupt INEC officials to have a field day manipulating the process in favour of PDP candidate, Atiku Abubakar.
And to compound things for Tinubu, if Aisha Dahiru Binani finally secures her mandate from the court, the family hegemony of a distinct family in the state will become so perverse, as Sen. Binani is also another member of the Ribadu family.
Such complete domination of leadership space by members of a single family will be a negation to the principle of power spread which is well entrenched in our constitution so as to serve as counterbalance to nepotism which the president elect stoutly upheld.
If the president elect so much believed in the spirit of fairness and give and take to the extent of preventing his wife from contesting for the senate, the onus lies on him to ensure that others respect the principle regardless of his affiliation with them even if for the sake of showing that he is in control of his administration.
It is for this reason that I urge the president to wade into the Adamawa issue to ensure that justice prevail especially in the appointment of the ministerial position by micro zoning it to Adamawa  South or North as the two zones apparently are less favoured in the current power dynamics of Adamawa State.
On a final note, it will be morally wrong for the president elect to favour people who openly campaign against him and his party at the detriment to loyal party men and women.
What signal will the Tinubu send to the loyal party men and women who stood stoutly behind him and fought Atiku’s sturdy political machine in the run up to the presidential election making APC to clinch over 183,000 votes for Asiwaju in the said election and to comfortably secure the 25 percent margin of victory for the president elect?
While close associates of Ribadu, like Walin Ganye and Mustapha Atiku Ribadu and Martins Bale (PCC – Chair Adamawa) openly sabotaged the presidential bid of the president elect by withholding funds and refusing to send polling agents and election supervisors on Presidential election day to protect Tinubu’s votes, some patriotic APC stalwarts due to party loyalty used their personal funds to ensure the victory of the president elect.
These are the real politicians who are responsible for the 183,000 votes scored by Tinubu during the election. The president elect should also avoid empowering his enemies who are out to slay his loyal lieutenants.
It is an open secret that those tracherous elements who have been backstabbing the president to no avail, have now found an enemy in the vice president elect Kashim Shattima because of the fear that sooner than letter, he will expose their evil machinations.
It is important for the Tinubu to address all the enumerated challenges because Adamawa State being the heartbeat of Nigerian politics always determine the political stability or otherwise of Nigeria because if you get it wrong in Adamawa the ensuing rancour that will follow will be better imagined than witnessed.
Unlike most states in Nigeria, Adamawa is highly heterogeneous with over 70 ethnic tribes with overwhelming Muslim majority population. It is therefore important for the president elect to ensure equitable balancing of power as concentration of power in one zone and in one family will only spell doom for the administration. In other words, all the three senatorial zones should receive fair share in the distribution of political patronage. Consideration should be specifically given to Adamawa South because it is the most deprived zone currently under the APC government.
While we pray for the success of the incoming administration, it is my hope that the president will consider my simple but salient counsel for the overall success of his administration.
May Allah give the president the wisdom and the vision to steer our beloved country to the promised land.
Ahmed, a member of Northern Progressives Movement writes from Abuja.

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