Nigeria Belongs To Everybody, It Belongs To Nobody

Umar Sa’ad Hassan

I wast really what you would call a party-goer in my younger days but I had a lot of friends who were and as such,I was familiar with what the Party terrain felt like.There were parties you could afford to attend alone because the majority were friends and you wouldn’t encounter any difficulty slotting into the fun and there were also parties you didn’t attend except a few friends were willing to tag along.Occupying the ‘Losers’ Section’ alone amidst unfamiliar faces could be very depressing.That is what President Buhari’s Non-Northern appointees seem to be doing;Occupying the ‘loser’s section’ in his appointment list.Its a Northern party and everyone has to deal with it.

It is quite alarming that of all the 30 appointments made by President Buhari so far, there is not a single person from the South East.And in the Strict sense,he hasn’t really lived up to his ‘Political Reality’ by placing those who voted for him in droves ahead of those who didn’t if the South West can only boast of 3 appointments.

President Buhari has long been labelled an incurable ethnic bigot by a lot of people,A lot of whom aren’t actively involved in politics.His critics during the Presidential Elections campaign pointed to his detention of Chief Alex Ekwueme;Shagari’s Vice-President at Kirikiri Prisons while placing the leader of the Government; Shehu Shagari under house arrest after the 1983 Coup that brought him to power as Military Head of State.Vice-Presidents can’t be more ‘Guilty’ than their Bosses.It didn’t make sense.
Then in more recent history,some have said PTF projects favoured the North more when he was Chairman during the Sani Abacha regime.What however, put those doubtful minds to rest was the fact that this was a democratic dispensation where he would govern by the Constitution and the presence of appropriate checks on his Power and what more?.The man declared himself a born-again Democrat and erased the ‘General’ in his name.Today as things stand,nobody can effectively defend PMB against those voices.The North West is leading the pack with 13 appointments,then the North East with 6 which is closely followed by the South-South with 5 and then you have the North Central and South West with 3 slices of the pie each.One thing is Clear-Justice isn’t being done if the South East hasn’t gotten an appointment out Of 30 made so far.

They are the worst victims of the President’s ‘Some are more Equal than Others depending on how you Voted’ Philosophy.Our Constitution provides for Federal Character in Section 14 (3) of the Constitution and one can’t possibly rationalize its absence with what is on ground.I emphasized on the South East because Legally, the President can escape any fall-out occasioned by the non-abidance to this Section if anyone makes a go premised on the main crux; Northern Domination based on an argument that the North East,Central and West are different zones and that the Constitutional Provision mentions only States,Ethnic or other Sectional Groups.Hence, the South East scorn remains the most viable weapon in a purely ‘Suit and Tie’ argument.Some of our laws  are bad because they weren’t properly drafted thereby leaving room for convenient interpretations and also because of the absence of foresight on the part of the draftsman.In a polity like ours, it is wise to be very specific and unequivocal on anything involving all ethnic interests. The phrase ‘Federal Character’ needs to be properly dwelt upon whenever any chance to amend our Constitution presents itself to leave no room for ambiguity and to cater for a situation like this where the ‘North’ are different states and ethnicities. Not to take anything from the man,Buhari has performed exceptionally well so far but you can’t help wanting to hate him for how he is going about things.

Even if one takes his promise to accord special status to those who voted for him en masse into consideration,it would still be hard to figure out why a less populated South-South who didn’t turn up for him has more appointments than the South West who practically ensured his victory this time around.A certain degree of maturity is expected of someone of PMB’s age.It is presumed that he already knows what this is capable of doing to this nation having fought in the Civil War.It could spark off some very bad sentiments which could snowball into something else or set a trend which could ultimately lead to the disintegration of this Country.Its high time the President realizes Nigeria belongs to Everybody,It belongs to Nobody.

Umar Sa’ad Hassan is a lawyer based in Kano.


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Best Regards
Umar Sa’ad Hassan SC PNM