Ministerial Nominees: Same Old Guards, by Jacob Ogunseye


by Jacob Ogunseye

At last, President Muhammadu Buhari bowed to public pressure by sending some names to the Senate for confirmation as the ministers of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; though his party has cautioned Nigerians to be wary of the names available in public domain and wait for the final list to be announced by the Senate. If the current names being rumoured by our news outfits and social media are correct, we might need to wait for another era to witness the change we’ve waited so long for. As the “noisemakers” might not be able to bring the change we want following their past records in service though benefit of doubt should not be sacrificed.

Our hurdles as a country include the flaws in our administrative system and the endemic corruption of public officials, convicting our former public officials becomes cumbersome due to administrative bottleneck and lapses in our judicial system. Former minsters and governors across the country have been accused on daily basis for wrong doing centred on corruption but few are convicted. Hence, they become points of reference for future appointments. Meanwhile, corruption is the enemy of development and good governance. It must be got rid of. Both the government and the people at large must come together to achieve this national objective.

As it stands, if the names circulating on social media actually translate to the authentic list, then the journey continues. The list comprises politicians who have parted their resources and waiting for a payback. I am afraid, that less will be achieved in the developmental agenda of the presidency. President Buhari should be painstaking and come out clean. If things go wrong, his reputation is at stake. The fight against corruption is never easy. It never has been and never will it be. It exacts a toll on ourselves, our families, our friends, and especially our children. In the end, the price we pay is well worth holding on to our dignity. The president should be able stand tall in confronting his cabinet members whenever they are accused of corrupt practices and ready to show them the way out if need be.

It is now obvious that nothing has changed, the names we have seen so far did not include the much touted technocrats, this is another deviation from the presidency, the past governors co-opted into the system have antecedents in their former states, of course, some of them have less to lay their hands on except for celebration of mediocrity, selfishness and malfeasance. Though, conversant of their political dynasties to win elections in their domains, but attempt to sacrifice national development on electoral calculations will be catastrophic. Fighting corruption is not just good governance. It’s self-defence. It’s patriotism.

The major concern today bothered so much on the success of this administration. If this government should fail, this country might need to travel another terrain before we can get it right. The Senate leadership is already enmeshed in allegation of corruption. For President Buhari to come out successfully now depends on the action of the general populace and the media to stand up against misdoings in our polity. Of course, what we need is not recycling of these politicians but since President Buhari has opted for the old practice, the expectations of breeding a new set of vibrant youths under his leadership has been evaporated. The new blood we are envisaging might need to wait till eternity. Of course, will this government succeed? It depends on the body language of the President himself.