The Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), yesterday, said with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recent approval of the nomination of Olayemi Cardoso to serve as the substantive Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), some 48 hours after appointing Zachaeus Adedeji as the acting chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), president appeared to be pushing an unseemly pro-ethnic agenda.
In a statement by its national coordinator, Emmanuel Onwuniko, the group said, “With a little over 100 days on the saddle, the president’s appointments have shown he appeared to have special consideration for people from his South-West region, especially those with links to Lagos State.
“If President Tinubu’s appointment of new services sparked new hope and drew deserved plaudits in that it recognised the nation’s diversity, his subsequent appointments curiously depart from that template.
“That the disastrous, previous administration of General Muhammadu Buhari, rtd, towed a visionless, divisive path, in the overwhelming tribalistic appointments it made, should never excuse this course that fundamentally degrades the legitimate dream of a new, progressive, inclusive Nigerian state.
“Today, the stakes are extremely high and Nigerians are mindful that a failure to achieve democratic stability, through a meritorious, transparent, inclusive governance process may imperil the country’s future as a coherent state. Mere political rewards and seeming ethnic nationalism should not drive the national journey. It is a perilous, avoidable option.’
“We recall here that the central driving mantra and foundational philosophy on which the ruling All Progressives Congress sold its presidential candidate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, now President, to Nigerians, was ‘Renewed Hope’. Nigerians bought into it and voted the Asiwaju and APC to power because it deeply resonated with the populace. But what is the reality?
“Key appointments traversing the nation’s crucial security, judicial and economic sectors are now unabashedly cornered by the South-West region. A quick, non-exhaustive check-list would include: Petroleum Minister: Bola Tinubu; Chief of Staff: Femi Gbajabiamila; Minister of Justice: Lateef Fagbemi; Minister of Finance and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun; Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Folashodun Shonubi who now gives way to a substantive CBN boss Olayemi Cardoso.
“Others include: Minister of Marine & Blue Economy: Bunmi Tunji-Ojo; Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy: Bosun Tijan; simultaneously, the Chairman of Senate Committee on ICT, Afolabi Salisu, and that of House of Representatives, Adedeji Olajide Odidiomo are both from the South-West; Minister of Power: Adebayo Adelabu; Minister of Transport: Adegboyega Oyetola; Minister of Solid Minerals: Dele Alake; Chief of Army Staff: General Taoreed Lagbaja; Police IG: Kayode Egbetokun; Comptroller-General Customs: Adewale Adeniyi; Comptroller-General Immigration: Adepoju Carol Wura-Ola; FIRS Chairman: Zacchaeus. Adedeji, et cetera, “HURIWA stated.
Also, another civil society group, South West APC Support Groups (SASG), hassaid, “This unfolding pro-ethnic gambit is not surprisingly provoking pushbacks from regional organisations, including the ‘favored’ South-West.
“Some S/West APC stakeholders under the aegis of South West APC Support Groups (SASG) earlier in the day alleged that states in the zone are being sidelined in the appointments of presidential aides announced so far, as only the ‘Lagos boys’ are snatching the slots.
In a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Otunba Dele Fulani, the SASG expressed worry that the trend might be extended to ministerial and board appointments for MDAs if not addressed immediately.
Besides Ohanaeze Ndigbo’s objections to its zone’s alleged peripheral action by the Tinubu administration, the Arewa Economic Forum also recently accused Tinubu of ethnic bias in the selection of appointees into crucial economic sectors.
“We are afraid to state that a situation whereby the appointees in crucial economic sectors are not only from the Southwest but also connected to the Lagos axis suggests a deliberate ‘Yorubanisation’ and ‘Lagoslisation’ of the polity,” chairman of the forum Ibrahim Shehu Yahaya, recently said.