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HomeTop NewsPresident Tinubu's appointments spark debate over regional bias in federal positions

President Tinubu’s appointments spark debate over regional bias in federal positions

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By Oludare Mayowa


Since the inception of President Bola Tinubu, like his predecessor, Mohammadu Buhari, his appointments have tilted in favor of his former protégés, mainly from Lagos and the southwestern part of the country.

From the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, to the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, the latest is the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Olayemi Cardoso, the Federal Inland Revenue Service, Zacch Adedeji, and many more.

This trend has left many people wondering if the APC has a script or a template for its president to concentrate federal appointments in the region where such a president comes from.

During Buhari’s eight-year tenure, key appointments were largely dominated by individuals of Fulani extraction, inciting criticism from various quarters that decried the perceived clannishness and divisive nature of such appointments.

When President Tinubu assumed office, optimism pervaded the nation with hopes that he would uphold fairness and equity in his appointments, ensuring representation from diverse regions and ethnic groups.

So far, he has concentrated his appointment into sensitive positions within his previous protégés, who are from the Southwest and largely Lagos-based, to the consternation of many people who have expected fairness and equity in his decision-making.

His actions and decisions have raised concerns among Nigerians, who interpret this to mean that rather than the president seeing the nation as his constituency, he has shown that he is not different from the others who consider their loyalty first to their region, to the detriment of the rest of the country.

The Nigerian Constitution enshrines principles of fairness and equitable distribution of federal appointments to prevent dissent and maintain trust in the federation. The “Federal Character” provision in the Constitution underscores the importance of ensuring all geopolitical zones have fair access to federal offices.

However, many successive presidents have been observing this provision in breach, with the exception of President Olusegun Obasanjo, who ensures that all parts of the country have their fair share of politics.

With the expiration of Buhari’s tenure on May 29, many Nigerians believed that the emergence of Tinubu or any of the three leading candidates would change the narrative and discontinue the now seemingly established tendency that characterized the government of Buhari and many of his predecessors.

However, the trend has continued with President Tinubu, whom many had believed was more sophisticated and understood the politics of the country better.

The danger in this practice is that many geopolitical actors would continue to agitate for a president of their own extraction as a means to guarantee access to federal offices for the benefit of people from that section of the country.

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Such actions will also continue to cause tension and suspicion among the major ethnic groups in the country.

Also, the minority may feel alienated since their chances of becoming president are slim and therefore do not guarantee them a fair deal in the federation, and as a result, they may feel unwanted and shortchanged.

It is true that appointments into federal institutions also determine the priority of where and what the resources of the country are allocated and the focus of development. We have seen how the domination of the country’s institutions by people of certain geopolitical zones has influenced other appointments and employment in such institutions.

We have seen how such appointments have provided more opportunities for people from the section the head of such an institution comes from. For instance, in customs and immigration, we have seen how the appointment of people from certain regions has influenced the employment, deployment, and elevation of officers from the same section to sensitive positions, leaving people from other parts of the country disadvantaged.

It is incumbent upon Nigeria’s political leaders to prioritize balance and fairness in the distribution of resources, including political offices. Continuing to favor one geopolitical zone over others may lead to alienation, diminishing loyalty to the nation.

The truth is that if our political leaders continue to follow a template that favors one geopolitical zone over another, those who are being shortchanged will feel marginalised, and their loyalty and commitment to the nation will wane.

Nigeria’s strength lies in its diversity, which comprises numerous ethnic nationalities. This diversity should guide leaders in managing the nation’s resources, steering clear of divisive practices that could undermine the labor of past heroes.

President Tinubu must exercise restraint and avoid further exacerbating regional imbalances through government appointments. He should perceive the entire nation as his constituency, ensuring that no part feels unwanted in the distribution of the nation’s wealth.

Every leader should see the country as his convenience and believe that no part of the country should be made unwanted in the distribution of the riches that accumulate for the nation.

We can find talents, intellectuals, and fit-for-purpose persons from any part of the country to occupy the posts of the CBN governor, FIRS, Customs, Minister of Finance, and other key positions without concentrating those who hold those sensitive positions in a single geopolitical zone.

Rebuilding a nation that has been damaged by a known tribal and religious irridentist like Buhari requires that President Tinubu exercise restraint in his decision to favor one section of the country above the others.

(Contact; omayowa@globalfinancialdigest.com; Newsroom: +234 8033 964 138)









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