NNPC Appointments– Having internal divisions in a country is not new. There are always conflicts of interest and socio-cultural differences among the people. However leaders are expected to create a more inclusive environment.
Nothing tears down African leadership more like religion and tribal sentiments/chauvinism.
Having won the 2015 general elections, President Muhammadu Buhari made a remarkable statement during his inauguration.
“I belong to everybody, and I belong to nobody.”
To the best of the people’s knowledge, the president intended to reassure the people of a leadership that will be marked with justice, fairness and equality.
Contrary to the promise of being impartial, the Nigerian president has more often than not exhibited attitudes that negate the federalism that accommodates equal rights.
Mr President’s choices of political appointments in the past 2 years cannot be described with any better word than nepotistic.
Ethnic bias and differences have long existed in the Nigerian system. The duty of the government is to bridge these differences by due representation and ensuring equal rights for the people irrespective of class and tribe.
The direct failure to carry all along led to the bloody Biafran war in 1966. Over 5 decades later, Nigerian leadership is wielded by people with the same school of thought that has left unhealed scars in the hearts and land of the Igbo tribe.
With how evident it is that the government still shows traits of marginalization towards the Igbo tribe, it is difficult to totally condemn the agitation of pro-Biafra groups.
Taking the radar to the recent reshuffle in NNPC, President Buhari once again made appointments that have caused worry for well meaning Nigerians
Recall that the President on assuming his position named himself Minister of Petroleum.
According to Vanguard, the president made 15 fresh appointments in the ministry.
“Out of 15 appointments made, 10 were from the North (mostly Hausa Fulani), three Yoruba, two from the South-South and there was none from the South East.”
The move did not augur well with a whole lot of people. It has received condemnation from political figures and various ethnic associations.
One would wonder how a supposed democratic government would endorse an obvious one-sided list for the running of a resource that powers and fails the economy simultaneously; a resource that leaves no benefit for its original owners and more for a deliberately preferred tribe.
Two Niger Delta factions, Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and Pan Niger Delta People’s Congress (PNDPC) have blasted the Federal government for the sheer insensitivity and blatant marginalization.
Adding to the list of bad examples from Nigeria’s leadership as it concerns ethnicity, it is rather excusable for Niger Delta militants and South easterners who have applied various means to restore their dignity and fight for justice.
Senator Owie from the South East said:
“It is regrettable that we blame IPOB, Arewa youths or Niger Delta youths over threats capable of disintegrating the country but the series of appointments made by this administration even up till now have shown that the administration is worse than those issuing ultimatum to the Igbo.”
Ohaneze Ndigbo has accused the presidency of fanning the internal ethnic divisions with his style of administration and called on him to review the list.
The president General, Chief John Nwodo said:
“This brazen disregard, marginalisation, and non-compliance with the Federal character provisions in our Constitution are the causes of lack of confidence which our youths have in our present governance structure.”
“There is no oil well anywhere in Northern Nigeria. Four of the five states in the South East have proven oil resources some of which provide our nation’s revenue, yet our people are not found fit to be adequately represented in a key corporate institution like the NNPC,”
Other reactions include:
South East Senators
“What happened at the NNPC is evidence that what we have been saying is not imagined, but real.”
“The issue for us is not about whether it favours us or does not favour us; it is about justice to all and being that it is skewed and that is not the way to build an inclusive society. “
“Does that mean that there was nobody qualified from the South East?”
“Why the sheer impunity?”