Krystal Pen

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Buhari’s northernization of Nigeria

Written by: Nwagu Everest


When this present administration was sworn in May last year, many pundits and cynics were reluctant to stomach the pill being sold by the APC that president Buhari is now a change man. Sceptics went down to the annals of history to dish out instances where Buhari have acted with ethnic sentiments, religious bigotry and nepotism. However we were told that he (Buhari) is now a democrat. So I decided to give him a chance and not throw away the baby with the bath water.
Surprisingly, barely two weeks after he was sworn in president Buhari went to the United States of America and declared in front of world media that he cannot treat those who did not vote for him the same way as he would those who voted for him!! This is what I term the 97% 5% theory. I was shaken, disenchanted and totally distressed by Buhari’s statement, had I not seen the video I wouldn’t have believed that. The APC was quick to interject that the president was quoted out of context, some went to social media to defend the divisive statement saying he meant no harm. As a well-meaning Nigerian, I decided to give him a chance to prove his critics wrong.
When the president released the list of several appointments, it became clear that he was head bent on implementing his 97% 5% theory. Out of the initial 32 appointments he made 23 were from the North while the South East had none. When Nigerians cried foul they were termed *Wailers* by the presidential spokesman. The president himself also came out to say he choose mostly Northerners because those are the people he can trust. When some sections of the country started screaming marginalization, Islamization and ‘Northernization’, I refused to agree with them. Moreover, the APC asked Nigerians to give the president some time, and time I gave him.
Conversely, when Fulani herdsmen killed scores of people in Agatu, Benue State, and the whole nation was troubled, the nation waited to hear from their president but President Buhari said nothing. When he finally spoke, he did not speak about preventing further attacks neither did he condemn the killings but he informed us that those herdsmen were not Nigerians but are from Libya!! If I were watching a Nollywood movie at this point I would have changed the channel. The insensitivity displayed by the president during the Agatu massacre reaffirmed my suspicion that maybe critics were right, his chauvinistic ideology and body language was just too uncomfortable for me as a Nigerian. When these same herdsmen went about different southern states, from Oyo to Ogun to Enugu wreaking havoc no single herdsman has been charged or convicted of these killings. But when harmless protesters went about celebrating their culture and pride the president was quick to deploy armed securities to kill them. I wanted to complain but I realized that maybe it is a mere coincident that all the states attacked by the herdsmen are the 5% voters while there has been no record of attack on the 97% states. But still I gave Buhari another chance to prove critics wrong.
It is also worthy of note that for the first time in the history of Nigeria all the three arms of government are headed by Northerners: Executive, President Muhammadu Buhari;  Legisture, Dr Bukola Saraki; and Judiciary, Justice Mahmud Mohammed.
The legislature is not left out of the Northern affair, the two arms of the legislature are headed by Northerners: Dr Bukola Saraki, Senate President, and Mr Yakubu Dogara, Speaker, House of Representatives.
Currently, the three levels of the law courts are headed by Northerners: The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is Justice Mahmud Mohammed (North); the President of the Court of Appeal is Justice Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa (North); while the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court is Justice Ibrahim Auta (North).
The straw that broke the camel’s back was the latest ambassadorial nominations. The four states (Bayelsa,Ondo,Plateau and Ebonyi) that the Secretary to the government of the Federation (SGF) said does not have any reputable person to be ambassadors 3 out of the 4 are Southern states. To put it in perspective, Kano and Adamawa states both have 2 nominees each, while a state like Ondo with well-educated people have none!
In conclusion, I don’t intend to stir up a riot but I intend to stir up a conversation, I want the best for Nigeria but it is becoming difficult to believe that the president understands what Federal character means. Buhari has succeeded in sacrificing federal character on the altar of nepotism and chauvinism, only time will tell if he will be remembered as a president who united Nigeria more or one who put a wedge in the crack.
Nwagwu Everest. A medical practitioner and Communications Executive @Mrprezident007

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