CHAD’S CHAT

MINISTERIAL APPOINTMENTS: PATIENT NIGERIA PAINFULLY WAITING FOR DOCTOR MUHAMMADU BUHARI

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Today, it is TWENTY DAYS after President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn-in for a second term as president of Nigeria but he is yet to appoint Ministers. In a country in need of development and growth and one with 23% unemployment rate, 11% inflation, millions of out of school children, continuing general insecurity, and the poverty capital of the world, this delay is proving very costly as investors and I-NGOs are kept waiting. But as usual, the Presidency and clueless Buharideens would not see anything wrong with this.

Appointing Ministers in the early days of an administration is key because they are the copilots (with the President being the main pilot) of the aeroplane of government. Presidents cannot be everywhere nor are they generalists (and/or specialists) in all matters of State. This is why immediately after they win elections, they appoint men and women to manage (for him and the country) the different departments of the country. After been sworn-in as president in 2015, it took President Buhari more than 3 months to appoint Ministers. We excused him at the time and argued that he is familiarising himself with the whole gamut of democratic governance, been a former military leader. But after four years and upon winning a second term over three months ago and twenty days after the commencement of his second term, he is yet to form his cabinet.

Would thunder strike twice? Or perhaps Mr. President is taking his time this time (which is really not an excuse) because he wants to appoint round pegs into round ministerial positions – unlike during his first tenure when electoral politics forced him into appointing many who have no business been Ministers of the country? Apart from a few, most of his Ministers during his first term (2015 – 2019) were quiet as we rarely see nor heard from them or felt their headship of ministries (if their excuse is that they’d rather work than talk/be seen).

Nigeria is a victim of a fatal road crash and whilst she laid down bleeding and unconscious by the side of the road, many came, not to help but to steal her money and then rape her without mercy nor the fear of God. Today, she is in a coma in the ICU (intensive care unit) and doctor Muhammadu Buhari must, sooner rather than later, form a strong team of specialists who would join him in operating and resuscitating patient Nigeria – as each day that passes further destroys and dampens the chances of her survival.

© Chad Otsapa

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