Nationalistic appointments as recipe for national unity (2)

UnityContinued from yesterday

THE philosophy and principle of federal character in a country like Nigeria is plausible. This plausibility emanates from the fact that it helps sustain the corporate existence of our nation, by giving the different components a deep sense of belonging.

The President and his handlers should know that election has ended, with the people’s patience wearing thin on a daily basis. What should be uppermost on the agenda should be the strengthening of the unity of the country with the instrumentality of the power at their disposal.

As a matter of fact, this political onslaught on the South presents this administration as having a narrow view and understanding of the country, and insensitive, fuelling the speculation that the President is acting out a ‘Northern agenda.’

Of course, if this self-inflicted impression is allowed to gain ground it portends a great danger to the socio-political wellbeing of our country. One incontrovertible fact about Nigeria is the gargantuan and qualitative resources scattered across the land.

There is no local government area out of the 774 we have in the country that is not blessed with individuals with ‘snowy’ records, who can ably contribute to the remaking of the country.

It is on this basis, that intellectuals, who know their onions, and have proved their mettle over the years, unite to condemn the ‘clannish sentimentalism’ that foregrounds the recent key appointments of Mr. Buhari, who, according to many, has eaten the forbidden fruit, violating the constitutional commandments.

As a man for whom there is a general perception of integrity, is Buhari directly or indirectly saying that the galaxy of stars in the South are not good enough for him to pick from? Or is the South completely bereft of men and women of integrity, of sterling character and who are trustworthy and, are ‘appointmentable? If the answer to these questions is in the negative, why then has it been difficult for him to tap into the avalanche of rich human resources in the South? Or could it be that his recent appointments are a way of asserting a Northern hegemony? These questions require urgent answers.

If Nigeria were a nation, in the real sense of the word, these latest appointments would not have generated any controversies. I cannot agree more with the succinct opinion of Banji Akintoye in his August 27, 2015 article published in a national newspaper titled: “Buhari must initiate process for dealing with Nigeria’s fundamental problem.”

The veteran columnist believes that “…our country’s most important need is to find ways to be a stable country – to find ways to make our hundreds of nationalities live together in reasonable harmony as members of one country.”

Nigeria’s multi-ethnicity should not be a barrier as other multi-ethnic countries such as India, Switzerland and even Britain have had to do the needful.

Doing the needful, according to Akintoye, would “…means that we must consciously nurture a culture of respect for every nationality, large or small.

It means that we must be committed to a true federation, and to a federal structure and order based on respect for our nationalities.” The problem of our country is hinged on our collective inability to come to terms with the yearnings of the various segments of the country.

This is a subtle call on the President to see the entirety of the country as his constituency. No doubt, Buhari has started on a good note. I strongly believe that he has good plans for the country, which all and sundry seem proud to support. For the first time in a long while, Nigerians are beginning to feel the impact of government on every facet of their lives.

However, the President should not take the people for granted. As contained in the preamble of the constitution, he should fight to ensure that Nigeria stays together, by making sure he carries everyone along in his administration.

This is the time for him to prove that he is the father of the nation, the father of all. • Concluded. • Babatunde, a budding entrepreneur, wrote from Ogudu, Lagos. 07033571259 orosunlajababatunde@gmail.com



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