President Muhammadu Buhari has again demonstrated that his administration does not believe in the unity of Nigeria and the application of the Federal character principle as enshrined in the constitution with the recent replacement of the Director-General of the Department of Security Service (DSS), Mr Matthew Seiyefa, a christian from Bayelsa State in the South South region and the subsequent replacement with Yusuf Magaji Bichi from Kano State. As in the case of the dismissed Mamman Lawan Daura, Buhari’s kinsman and old-time ally, who was drafted out of retirement, Bichi was also brought back from retirement.
What the president has succeeded in telling thousands of Nigerians who are pursuing their careers in the security outfit is that they cannot attain the peak of their career. This is the same situation with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), where Col. Hammeed Ali, a retiree from the army, was also drafted to superintend.
This development raises a number of questions: Is the State Security Service (SSS) no longer a career Job? Are southerners in the Service not good enough to be head? Must the officers of the SSS come from a particular region to qualify to lead the organisation?
We are minded to raise the last question because both Daura and Bichi from come the same Northwest where Buhari himself also hails from.
These questions could be more with the sad reality being that these Nigerians whose career pursuits have been pegged, cut-short or truncated would always doubt the preachment of this administration in the existence of one united Nigeria, equality or justice for all. The maxim would remain the Orwelian cliche of ‘some animals being more equal than others’. But this is unacceptable in a democracy, more so, in a federation.
It is good that well-meaning Nigerians and notable socio-political groups in the country including the Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the South-South leaders and the Middle-Belt Forum have also forcefully condemned the action of President Buhari, describing it as nepotic, ethnic and insensitive.
Indeed, Buhari has shown that he is the President of some areas of the country by the way he has carried on with power since 2015 when he took over power. He has exhibited enough abuse and arrogance in the use of power in his appointments for any reasonable person who is a believer in the unity of the country to question his intentions. Is the President being real, honest and sincere by these appointments? Many are won’t to doubt him.
For instance, the current Service-Chiefs are supposed to have retired from the service. But Buhari would not let them go. Is the President saying that these men are irreplaceable or that the officers working under them are so incompetent to wear their shoes? Today, the entire security architecture is in one region – North.
Yet, President Buhari must be reminded that the country belongs to all Nigerians. And that nobody has the right to consign any of the citizens to a second class status as he is currently doing. Perhaps, more importantly is the fact that Mr. President should appreciate that the Nigerian state is running a democracy and that anybody who has the privilege to manage its affairs, must do so within the ambit of the extant laws governing it. It is sad to note that President Buhari has behaved, in all these three years and half as if the law should be changed to accommodate his shenanigans. This is quite unfortunate and a sad commentary for a democratic Nigeria.
We are indeed in alignment with Chief Edwin Clark (South-South); Chief Ayo Adebanjo (South-West), Chief John Nwodo(South-East) and Dr. Bitrus Poju(Middle-Belt) representatives of their respective geo-political zones that President Buhari “does not care a hoot about the unity, cohesion and oneness of Nigeria”.
These elder statesmen demonstrated a worrisome anger when they went further to say “We reject this appointment and we do not shy inn telling Mr. President that he no longer pretends that the country is one under him”. Buhari has every reason to be worried and should therefore move very fast to disabuse the minds of many more Nigerians who share this same thought.
Even then, the President has the next few months ahead of the expiration of his tenure to redeem his badly damaged ethnic image by correcting these lopsided appointments except perhaps he has concluded in his mind that indeed , the country must remain ‘97 percent and five percent’ divided under his watch. A question of “We versus them”.
For a better society