Some Northern leaders have lambasted the acting president for what they describe as sectional appointments
Northern leaders in the past weeks, have been grumblings about the acting president’s appointments.
Dr Ismaila Farouk recently accused Osinbajo of ‘tactical’ nepotism and cronyism.
He said: “Contrary to the widely held belief that vice President Osinbajo, a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, and a Professor of Law is above board, a forensic analysis of his activities since he assumed office reveals that the VP has consistently abused his office, negating the principles of Federal Character and has systematically favored members of the Redeemed Church and his Yoruba tribe.”
The Northern leader lambasted the acting president for the appointment of Dr Okey Enelamah as Minister for Trade and Investment.
He argued that Enelameh was his Deputy and later successor at the RCCG, Banana Island, Lagos.
He also accused the acting president of appointing “his RCCG Brother” Alex Okoh as DG of the Bureau of Public Enterprise.
According to the statement:
“While Nigerians were trying to come to terms with the shock of Pastor Enelamah’s nomination, VP Osinbajo took a step further in his nepotistic disposition in the setting up of his office and selection of personal staff.
First, he chose his former colleague at the University of Lagos Ade Ipaye who was also his Special Adviser while he was Attorney General of Lagos to serve as his Chief of Staff. Unsurprisingly, Ade Ipaye hails from Ogun state, the VP’s state of origin.
” He went on to relocate Laolu Akande, an indigene of Ogun state who was hibernating in New York to serve as his Media Adviser. For his Chief Economic Adviser, he appointed Ambassador Dipeolu also of Yoruba extraction.
“The VP didn’t stop there, of his 10 Principal Officers in his office, 9 are from his Yoruba ethnic group. In his quest to perpetuate his ilk in government, the VP has capitalised on the magnanimity of President Buhari’s implicit confidence in him to plant his Yoruba and RCCG brethren in key agencies of government.”
Senior Special Assistant, Media to the acting president, Laolu Akande, declined to comment, according to the Sun.
Meanwhile, some northern leaders also criticized the acting president.
Abubakar Tsav, former commissioner of police, Lagos state “Osinbajo has been very active as acting president working very hard, with zeal, dedication and utmost efficiency and this is commendable. However, the recent appointments he has been making alarm me. Those appointments are very narrow and sectional. Those appointments will create division and sow seeds of ethnic discord.
How can Osinbajo appoint more than 80 per cent of his personal staff from South-West? Not only that, names of Yoruba also feature prominently on the list of appointments he made into parastatals. Again, most of these appointees are Christians. This is unacceptable. Osinbajo should realise that he is now a national figure.
Although Osinbajo is humane, but he should be more liberal, and try to be pan-Nigerian in whatever he is doing . With the public outcry against him on this issue, I think he should do the needful. He should realise that what he has done on this appointments issue is not good for his own image, for the interests of the country, and it is also inimical to the growth and development of democracy in this country.”
Alhaji Balarabe Musa, second republic governor of kaduna state said: “I will comment appropriately when I see it in prints. It has happened before. For instance, this culture of WAZOBIA all the time, and people are not ashamed of it. When the president comes from the North, you see him marginalizing the Southeast, when the president comes from the Southwest, you see him marginalizing the North, even when the president comes from the South-south you will not see the Southeast getting its fair share. That is why some people who are honest are saying that this time it has to come from the Southeast to give every Nigerian a sense of belonging and for national unity. So, let us test them and see if it will be the same thing from those from the North, Southwest and South-south.
“It doesn’t make sense to surround yourself with people from your area; it doesn’t provide you with security. With the exception of Gowon and Murtala Mohammed, others didn’t give equal opportunities to people from other
parts of the country. That is what Nigerians who are concerned should put their heads together to stop.”
Dr. Junaid Mohammed, second republic member of the House of Representatives in his reaction said: “The way and manner Osinbajo made the recent appointment goes to prove that in the event of Osinbajo succeeding Buhari, we are going to have the same problem of nepotism, clannishness, cronyism and religious bigotry.
“Buhari doesn’t know the difference between cronyism, clannishness and religious bigotry, but the one by Osinbajo is determined and being done to pursue and favour the Yoruba agenda in Nigeria.
This won’t help us, we must begin to see that the right thing is done and begin to consider other people and give each person a sence of belonging. When you see agitations coming from some quarters, it is not that they want to go; it is that they are not given the sense of belonging.
Meanwhile, the special assistant to former president Goodluck Jonathan on public affairs has said that it will be wrong for the Acting president Yemi Osinbajo to run for presidency if anything should happen to President Muhammadu Buhari.
Doyin Okupe in an interview with Tribune said the Northern region of Nigeria will feel cheated out if Osinbajo runs for president in 2019.
Citing the case of a former president late Umaru Yar’Adua, Okupe said the northerners are scared that what happened in 2010 after Yar’Adua’s death might happen again.