Editorials

Dead men in office: Appointment gaffe is final proof of Buhari’s mediocrity

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Buhari’s recent appointment gaffe is final proof of his mediocrity, and incapability in office.

For the larger part of 2017, many people have argued the importance of President Muhammadu Buhari remaining in office and the events of the last few days is a final proof of what he has to offer.

The truth is all year long, there has been a pattern of incompetence and mediocrity from the man at the helm of affairs. From Rats or rodents chasing him out of office, the Ikoyi money, Maina’s reinstatement, then dead appointees, you are sure to agree it not all coincidence.

Buhari and appointment of dead men into office

This is a tale that should last long, well, if and only if the suspected hike in fuel price at the turn of the year wont steal the show.

Among the 1,258 persons whose names were published on Friday as new boards chairpersons and members are Honourable Garba Attahiru, Senator Francis Okpozo, a former deputy IGP Donald Ugbaja and the Reverend Christopher Utov, and these four men are dead.

Hon Garba Attahiru died in May 2016, Rev Utov died in March this year, Mr Ugbaja in November and Senator Okpozo died on the 16th of December. And the President of Nigeria, Buhari supposedly sent condolence message to all the family members of the deceased. Even Mr Ugbaja family got theirs just three days ago on Wednesday.

Yes, this condemnable act has been largely criticised, the only explanation from the Government that would make sense is that the list had been prepared at a time when these men were still alive. But that would mean it was released without rechecking to be sure everyone on the list was fit and proper.

It might be too much of us to ask a Presidency which was unaware of the reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina into the civil service, to perform due diligence on a list of 1258 persons, or protect its office from rat invasion.

The list is not just full of dead people, it also contains a duplication of names in more than one agency. For instance, Sabo Nanono was appointed a member of the board of the National Agency for Science and Engineering (NASENI), but was also listed on the board of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC). Habiba Umar is on the board of the Federal Medical Centre Yola as wells as the FMC in Birnin-Kebbi. These may well have been intentional but given the motive of rewarding party loyalists behind the announcement of the appointments, it would seem counter-intuitive that the duplications are not another set of flaws.

Something was definitely amiss with a government that took six months to appoint its Ministers, but that was forgiven as the stage fright of a gazing first-time performer facing an audience famed for heckling.

There is an art and science to excellence in leadership and administration but the Presidency is fussing over the acts and scenes of the President’s softer side.

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