31st August, 2015
Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose has said President Muhammadu Buhari was operating as a president of Northern Nigeria only, describing steps taken by the president since May 29, 2015 as tainted in ethnic and tribal colouration, which is inimical to the unity of Nigeria.
The governor, who descried what he called President Buhari’s “Nothernisation of Nigeria”, said “appointments made by the President so far negate the principle of federal character and it appears the unity in diversity of Nigeria is being taken for granted by the President.”
According to a statement issued on Monday, by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said it was wrong for President Buhari to have made 31 major appointments and only seven will come from the South while 24 were from the North.
He asked: “Under Buhari, are people from Southern Nigeria only meant to be hounded and harassed by anti-corruption agencies and the Department of State Security (DSS) while those from the North are meant to enjoy federal government juicy appointments?”
The governor added: “Apart from lopsided appointments being made by the President, I am worried that construction of Lagos-Ibadan expressway has been slowed down while work has stopped on Lokoja-Abuja roads, which are the major roads linking the Southern part of Nigeria with the North.
“Also, we have been told by the Federal Government that the Second Niger Bridge project has been suspended and one is now beginning to remember how Buhari cancelled the Lagos Metroline Project in 1985 at a loss of over $78 million (then) to the Lagos tax payers.”
Governor Fayose, who maintained that Nigeria can only move forward if there was equity and fairness, said those who made the country’s constitution and enshrined the principle of Federal Character were mindful of the ethnic diversity of the country, adding that President Buhari running Nigeria as if he was a Northern Nigeria’s President was not in the interest of the country.
“They said the President made the appointments on merit and I wish to ask whether there are no competent people in the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Southern part of Nigeria, especially South-East where no one has been appointed.
“Are they saying Igbo leader like Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who graduated with a first class honours degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Lagos, is not competent to be appointed as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF)?
“To my mind, these lopsided appointments skewed in favour of the North is a reminder of President Buhari’s tenure as Military Head of State and I hope the President is not seeing Nigeria of today as that of 1984 because doing so will mean that he has turned himself to a northern president, thereby justifying his notion that those who gave
him 97 percent votes must get more benefits than those who gave him five percent votes.”