Saturday, 29 August 2015


frankwash: PRESIDENT BUHARI'S LATEST APPOINTMENTS AND REACTIO...: A scholar once defines politics as the madness of many for the benefit of few. The Nigerian presidential election of 2015 had come and gone....


A scholar once defines politics as the madness of many for the benefit of few. The Nigerian presidential election of 2015 had come and gone. The election saw the defeat of former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party, by the incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress, Nigeria's current ruling party at the federal level of government and in over twenty out of Nigeria's thirty six states.

Politics is the struggle for power and allocation of resources. It is about who gets what and who takes what. Nigerian politics can be reduced to the struggle for power and sharing of national economic resources. This is the reason the madness for power in Nigeria is more severe than mental madness, for it is behind the do or die kind of politics played by some Nigerian politicians and their supporters. This manifests in assassinations of political opponents and other forms of atrocities perpetrated by some Nigerian politicians and their godfathers.

The struggle for power and positions within the ruling All Progressives Congress became a thing of public knowledge after its victory at the 2015 general election when the 'so-called' national leadership of the party attempted to impose its anointed/endorsed candidates over leadership of the National Assembly or the Nigerian Parliament. This was resisted by Senator Bukola Saraki and his supporters in the ruling APC. Subsequently, Senator Saraki alligned with 48 PDP senators in the National Assembly, and with the support of 11 or 12 APC senators, he was elected unopposed with 60 votes as the President of Nigeria's Senate while Senator Ekweremadu of the opposition PDP, was elected Deputy Senate President. This did not go down well with the other camp in the APC, led by Cheif Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress, who had wanted Senator Lawal to be the president of the Nigerian Senate. The rancor, acrimony, bitterness, outrage, crack and rift caused by this development among APC leaders and members in Nigeria continue to hunt and tear the party apart  till date.

The struggle for positions and portfolios in the current government of  Nigeria is taking a various dangerous dimension again and  further reveals the regional and ethnic division among Nigerians. The appointments so far  made by President Buhari into various agencies and government bodies since he took over power on May 29, 2015, have generated and continue to generate arguments and altercations among Nigerians and political watchers, on the ground that most of those appointed are from the  North, the president's region. This was brought to the front burner again by the recent appointments of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Staff , and other portfolios announced by the Presidency on  Thursday 27th August, 2015.

Many Nigerians have joined and are still joining the fray caused by the recent appointments made by President Buhari. The division in Nigeria along ethnic and regional lines is further being shown here with divergent reactions, views and opinions regarding the appointments. It suffices to take a cursory loot at some of the reactions and opinions of Nigerian with regard to the appointments so far made by the president.

The appointment of secretary to the government of the federation and other principal officers of the president kitchen cabinet announced by the Presidency on Thursday 27 August, 2015, so far bring to twenty five the number of appointments made by President Buhari. Nigeria is made up of many ethnic groups and six geo-political zones. It is the view of many Nigerians that appointments into various national positions and offices should reflect the multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of the country by ensuring that persons from the six geo-political zones are equally and well represented in government. However, President Buhari's appointment so far falls short of this condition or expectation. About 75% of the appointments so far made by the president had gone to the North. For more clarity, it will be imperative to give a clear picture of the president's appointment so far, with the number of appointees each geo-political regions has received. The North West, the President's region has nine positions, the North East has five positions; the North Central has four positions, the South West has three positions, the South South has four positions while the South East has no position so far. Put succinctly, the North has 18 positions while the entire South (South West and South South in this case) has 7 positions, and the South East has no position yet.

Some Nigerians argue that President Buhari's appointments so far are based on competence and merit and that all those so far appointed by the President merit their appointments. There is no doubt that appointment into any office should be anchored on merit and competence. This is the only condition that beneficiaries of such appointments could perform and deliver to Nigeria, the goals for which they were appointed in the first place. However, there are many reservations and questions that need to be taken care of when we talk about competence and merit. For instance,how do we know who is competent and who is not when there is no test of knowledge or examination for persons from the six geo-political zones to determine who is competent or not. More so, if all the appointments so far made are based on competence and merit without anybody been appointed from the South East, it suggests that we are been told that there is no single person in the entire South East that has a population of millions of Nigerians like any other geo-political zone in the country. But we know for sure that this not the case. Is the public sector or government the only area to measure competence in Nigeria. This question becomes imperative in view of the fact that the North that produces 18 out of the 25 appointments so far made by President Buhari has not been able to replicate same in the private sector of Nigerian economy, where real (not political competence) exists. A look at the banking sector (commercial banks), medical field, engineering,  academics, insurance, sports, music, entertainment and others clearly reveals that the North is far behind the South in terms of competence and talent. This casts further doubt on the competence hypothesis being propounded by some Nigerians.

Furthermore, if the South had got 18 out of the 25 appointments so far made by Buhari, would the advocates of competence theory be singing the same song? The North has been in power for about 40 years of our about 55 years of existence as a modern state. This means that that Northerners have held more public positions in Nigeria than their counterparts from the South. This should not  however, be misconstrued to mean that Southerners have not held positions. This would have manifested in the over all development of Nigeria if its all about competence.

The quarrel over Buhari's appointments would not have generated so much tension and argument had the president not said it in an interview in the United States, that his administration would not accord equal treatment to constituencies that gave him 97% votes and constituencies that gave him 5% votes in the election that brought him to power. That the president appointments have so far fovoured the North, the constituency that gave him 97% votes according to his allusion, makes some persons to think that President Buhari's action with respect to his latest appointments is a calculate and premeditated attempt to to punish or marginalize constituencies that gave him 5% votes. I would not want to take this to be the case. President Buhari was elected by Nigerians from all parts of the country, no matter the percentage of votes he received from each geo-political zone. More so, he is the president of Nigeria as a country, not only those that gave him more votes.

That the Senior Special Assistant to President Buhari on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, had come out to say the president would address the imbalances in his latest appointments, means that the president is aware of the lopsidedness in his appointments. This further lays to rest the argument of persons preaching competence as the only sine qua non for the President's appointments so far. A question that would readily come to mind if this is the case is: Why would President Buhari fail to take into consideration, the reality that issues of appointments into government positions in Nigeria are very delicate and capable of generation tension and emotions, along tribal and religious lines? Did the president do this deliberately and unleashed Mr Femi Adesina on Nigerians, with a view to calm nerves hoping that the matter would die a natural death with time? What if this unfair treatment of the South, especially the South East, is not addressed and corrected when the President appoints his cabinet come September? Only time shall provide answers to these and other burning questions surrounding President Buhari's appointments into his government.

The emergence of Senator Ekweremadu of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party as the Deputy Senate President of Nigerian Senate did not go down well with the leadership of the APC, Nigeria's current ruling party at the federal level. The leadership of the APC, through the Lagos State Publicity Secretary of APC, Mr Joe Igbokwe, has not hidden its bitterness, dissatisfaction and sadness over Ekweremadu's status in this current government, and has threatened to pull him down at all cost, adding that it is not ready to work with an ''enemy'' of the APC. In the light of this, a curious mind like mine would not fail to ask if the sidelining of the Igbo tribe in Buhari's appointments so far is a manifestation of APC''s grievances over Ekweremadu's position as Deputy Senate President?

President Buhari's appointments so far would no doubt, continue to elicit a barrage of rancorous reactions from Nigerians and the cacophony could only get louder when the President eventually appoints ministers into his cabinet come September 2015 and ends up favouring the North with more positions, or as some commentators would say, more 'juicy' positions. There is no doubt that the latest appointments by the President Buhari have further revealed the cracks in his party, the APC, as it was widely reported by various national dailies that APC leaders are not happy with Buhari's over his recent appointments. This could also compel one to think that the president did not consult widely within his party leadership before making the appointments, or that he turned down inputs of other leaders in his party.                                                                                                                             

I wish to conclude this piece by positing that politics is about sharing of power and resources, unfortunately in Nigeria, not about using power to galvanize human and economic resources to ensure welfare of the citizens. Be it as it may, Nigeria is not a united nation yet. There are sentiments and emotions everywhere over sharing of the country's national cake. The fact remains that every geo-political zone should be equally and fairly represented in government to balance the federal nature (federal character) of Nigeria.We have not reached a stage where we would agree that it does not matter even if the President and Chief Executive of Nigeria makes all his appointments from one region, tribe or village. May be we would get there one day. Above all, the most important thing is for the president and all those in government at all levels to use our collective resources for the over all development of Nigeria, for the benefit of Nigerians, not to fight for positions and loot our collective resources; thereby leaving ordinary Nigerians in penury and hardship . It is high time they knew they are holding power in trust on behalf of the people of Nigeria, with whom sovereignty lies. This is the trust of government universally.

Saturday, 15 August 2015



General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) became the substantive president of Nigeria on May 29, 2015. He has spent over a week in power as at today. Nigerians are waiting anxiously for President Buhari to constitute and present to them his cabinet that will work with him in piloting the affairs of state for the next four years.

President Buhari is said to be an incorruptible individual. He  has been in government before in Nigeria as minister of petroleum resources in the 1970s, and later as military head of state in the mid 1980s. He was also chairman of the defunct petroleum trust funds during the regime of military dictator, late General Sani Abacha in the 1990s.

There is this belief by some Nigerians that President Buhari is a man of integrity and that he does not tolerate any acts of corruption. I do not wish to comment on this as the parameters for mentioning  integrity and corruption  in Nigeria are subjects of contention and may not be in conformity with what obtains universally. Put succinctly,  corruption and integrity are two relative terms and there is no unison among Nigerians regarding what they mean.

Fillers emanating from the government of President Buhari suggest that he is taking his time to choose those that would make their way into his cabinet. The president was said to have turned down  ministerial nominations from some governors of his political party, the All Progressives Congress, insisting that he does not have a say in their appointments of commissioners. It was reported that the president is of the strong view that any Nigerian with links to corruption would not find his way into his cabinet. This sounds very fantastic and beautiful, but there are many questions that need to be answered: Is President Buhari going to appoint people from the moon for them not to have had traces of corruption in the past? Is Buhari not going to appoint Nigerians that have been and are still in Nigeria where corruption is an endemic and contagious disease?  If he (Buhari) is going to appoint Nigerians into his cabinet, how is he going to determine that they do not have any connection with corruption? Is President Buhari not going to carry along his party, APC's mechinery in deciding who who makes his cabinet and if yes, is he telling us that there are no corrupt persons in his party? These  and many more questions are begging for answers from no other person, but the president himself.

It will not amount to fallacy to state categorically that corruption is like a canker worm that has eaten very deep into every facet of Nigeria's life. An average Nigerian political leader or public office holder sees his position as a means to an end. That is, to fulfill his selfish ambition of amassing and looting public wealth for his personal aggrandizement at the expense of the ordinary citizens whom he is supposed to serve with state resources at his disposal. Very many persons who occupy public offices in Nigeria do end up serving their pockets and looting the country's wealth for their generations unborn.

It will not be out of place to think that President Buhari was given huge financial and material support by his party chieftains and members in the course of his campaigns. As I have noted in my earlier article, these persons who supported him to achieve his aim of becoming the President of Nigeria are political investors. Like normal investors, they have invested politically in the person of President Buhari. They are earnestly waiting to reap a thousand times, the dividends and gains of their investments in the president. We wait to see how the president is going to settle these political investors while also taking care of the interests of Nigerians who gave him the mandate to be their president and fix Nigeria for the benefit of every Nigerian.

Government in a democracy cannot be reduced to only the executive. It consists of three arms or branches: the executive, legislature and the judiciary. These three arms of government are expected to work together to achieve the aims and objectives of state, which amongst other things,  include the protection of lives and property of citizens and also to ensure their welfare .It is a good thing that  the recently elected  Nigerian parliament, the 8th National Assembly, will be constituted and sworn into power next week. It is hoped that they would work together with the executive, led by President Buhari as well as with the judiciary, to fix the major challenges of poor leadership, insecurity, corruption and high cost of governance, unemployment, energy and power crises, poor infrastructure, impunity, and many more that face Nigeria today.

I wish to conclude by saying that President Buhari's quest to raise a cabinet team made up of incorruptible  men and women of integrity seems to be a tall order or what some might call a Herculean task, in view of the fact that corruption is endemic in Nigeria and public office holders and their godfathers who recommend them for appointments are out to loot national treasury. This explains why many Nigerians doubt that it is not possible for the president to talk about having incorruptible persons in his government. However, there are two major options for President Buhari. First, is  to have a cabinet  dominated by Nigerians who have great love and passion for service to humanity rather than greed to siphon Nigeria's resources for their personal aggrandizement at the expense of poor people of Nigeria. Second, is for the president to run a lean government with reduced cost of governance and channel our economic resources into human and national development for the welfare of every Nigerian. On the extreme, with strong determination and courage on the part of President Buhari and with support  from the masses of Nigeria, it may be possible for him to run a government that is devoid of corruption and corrupt officials. Nigerians will be instrumental to achieving this feat. There is need for us to a have a change of heart or mindset towards corruption and corrupt officials in government. We MUST stop worshiping persons with stolen or ill-gotten wealth and realize that being in government is an opportunity to serve the people and develop the state, not steal state resources.

This article was originally written on June 8 2015, and published on my Google Plus account.


Monday, 10 August 2015


An Analysis Of Implications Of Boko Haram's Pledge of Allegiance to ISIS:


The radical and violent Islamic group in Nigeria, Boko Haram, has pledged allegiance to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Boko Haram has been waging a violent and destructive war against the Nigerian state since the year 2009. Thousands of innocent Nigerians have lost their precious lives to the radical Islamic sect's campaign of mayhem, violence and destruction since 2009. In addiction, property worth billions of Naira have been destroyed by the sect.

Apart from the Nigerian Boko Haram, there are other radical terror groups in different parts of the world. They include Al-Quada, ISIS, Taliban, Al-Shabab and so on. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria appears to be the most radical and most violent among the various terror groups listed above. More so, ISIS controls a verse area of territories in Syria and Iraq which it refers to as its Caliphate and is estimated to have over 20, 000 strong fighters and continues to recruit new fighters with a view to boosting the size of its forces for further conquest and annexation of more territories for the purpose of expansion of its Caliphate. The ISIS Caliphate is headed by a Caliph by name Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He is the spiritual and political head of the ISIS Caliphate.

The Nigerian Boko Haram group pledged allegiance to ISIS on Saturday 7th March, 2015. In a video released by the Boko Haram, its leader, Abubakar Shekau, hailed ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as ''Caliph'' and declared: ''We announce our allegiance to the Caliph... and we hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity''.

Many local and international observers and analysts are examining the implications of Shakau's action. The remaining part of this article takes a look at the implications of Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance to ISIS.

It is trite to note that Boko Haram and other Islamic terror groups the world over are fighting for a similar cause. The major aim of these groups is to revive and re-establish the defunct and moribund Caliphate system of government. The Caliphate system of government existed from the later part of the 7th century AD to the second decade of the 20th century, ending with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, at the end of World War 1 in 1919. It is same time as the Islamic system of government; and the practice of Sharia is at the heart of this system of government.

The era of the Caliphate was considered the 'glorious' days of Islam. There existed various Caliphates in history. they include the Omayyad, the Ayyubid, the Ottoman and so on. The Ottoman was the last Islamic Caliphate or empire. A major characteristic of the caliphate system of government is that it is anchored on the values of Islam as a way of life.                                                                                  

The first major implication of Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance to ISIS is that it formally marks the former's identification with the latter as a group that is fighting for same cause and has same aims and objectives. The two groups are devoted to the revival and re-establishment of the defunct or moribund Islamic Theocracy or Caliphate system of government, in which the practice and application of Sharia law in the affairs of state vis-a-vis the citizens is the order of the day. It is obvious that these sects are not happy with the current structure and organization of the international political system, in view of the fact that is dominated and dictated by the West and their allies. Boko Haram, ISIS and similar groups have therefore taken to participating in the international political system as non-state actors, in practical terms at least, since the 911 attacks on the United States, by late Osama Bin Laden Al-Qaeda. They are not happy with democracy, globalization and the influences of the West on the Islamic world. They perceive the West as corrupting the Islamic world, and therefore, see themselves as radical jihadists or armies defending the Islamic world from the reach and influences of the liberal West. A very critical mind, would not doubt, agree that these terror groups have huge influence on the course and direction of 21st century global politics and diplomacy.

Furthermore, by pledging allegiance to ISIS, Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau sees ISIS leader as a role model in the global Jihad movement and struggle aimed at entrenching radical Islam in the world. In Shekau's words: ''We announce our allegiance to the Caliph... and will hear and obey in times of difficulty and prosperity''. Do take note of 'HEAR' and 'OBEY'. By these two words, Shekau meant that Boko Haram would take instructions from the ISIS leader as well as obey his instructions. This further implies that Boko Haram is now an appendage or offshoot of the ISIS Caliphate in West Africa, at least, in theory, if not in practical terms.

A very dangerous implication of Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance to ISIS is the possibility of attracting foreign fighters from the Islamic world into Nigeria to fight for the Nigerian terror group. By identifying with ISIS, Boko Haram may have succeeded in further internationalizing their struggle, thereby making it more appealing to persons in other countries who are interested in what they claim to be fighting for.

The recent pledge of allegiance by Boko Haram to ISIS may also be a sign of weakness on the part of the former. Before now, Boko Haram had carved out a large area of territories said to be over 20,000 square kilometers in size. They declared this area as Caliphate, with its capital at Gwoza, a town in Bornu State and Shekau as the Caliph or head of the Caliphate. However, recent military setbacks and losses suffered by Boko Haram in the hands of the coalition forces from Nigeria and her neighbors- Chad, Niger and Cameroon, may have inadvertently forced the Nigerian terror group to align with ISIS with a view to attracting human, material, moral and financial support from the latter. However, whether Boko Haram's pledge of allegiance to ISIS would succeed in bringing support from ISIS remains uncertain and debatable in view of the consideration that ISIS itself is facing serious bombardments from the US and her allies in the Middle East. More so, the US is raising ground forces from Iraq to face ISIS and defeat it once and for all. It is also good news that some countries are now beginning to nurse  the idea of putting together ground forces to defeat ISIS.

In conclusion, the pledge of allegiance by Boko Haram terrorist group to ISIS presents a golden opportunity to Nigeria and her neighbors facing the sect's  threat to increase the temple of war against the terror group. There is no doubt that the coming together of the militaries of Nigeria and her neighbors is degrading and destroying Boko Haram's military might. This explains why the terror group is aligning with ISIS. For me, it is a last minute desperate attempt to curry support from ISIS, considered by Boko Haram to be a very 'POWERFUL' and 'MIGHTY' 'FORCE' to run to in a time of an impending fall. Nigeria and her neighbors involved in the fight against the terror group MUST bring out all their arsenals to defeat Boko Haram now. The group should not be allowed to regroup or reinforce its depleting forces. There is also the need to increase intelligence gathering and maintain tighter control on the international borders of countries threatened by Boko Haram. Now is the best of times to defeat the radical terror group and restore lasting peace and order to the countries affected by the monster called 'Boko Haram'.

This article was written on March 21, 2015.

Saturday, 8 August 2015





It is often said that Nigeria is a banana republic. A country that relies heavily on the export of single commodity as a means of foreign exchange earning to service her economy is definitely doomed to find herself in financial mess, stress and strains once the commodity suffers dwindling fortune as a result of vagaries and politics surrounding sales of the commodity or product in the international market. This is the fate of Nigeria as we speak.

The drama playing out in Nigeria as a result of the dwindling fortune of crude oil in the international market is taking a very precarious dimension. It is no longer news that the price of crude oil in the international market has dropped by about 50% percent in the past few months. This has had serious adverse or negative financial consequences on Nigeria and other countries that rely majorly on the export of crude oil to sustain their economies.

As for Nigeria, however, the drop in the price of crude oil in the international market is taking heavy tolls on the country. Nigeria is now on the brink of economic recession, sadly.This is largely due to the fact that she relies over 90%  on  export of crude oil
for inflow of foreign revenue to run her economy and other areas of her national life. This is compounded or worsened by corruption on the part of the ruling class and the fact that little saving was done for rainy days, when the price of crude oil was all time high for nearly ten years. The direct aftermath of this is that the country's foreign reserve, which was already poor before now has dropped astronomically to about 30 billion dollars as a result of massive withdrawals by the Federal Government of Nigeria to finance the affairs of state.

There is no doubt that the financial situation in Nigeria would not have been this tragic and appalling as the present reality had the country diversified her economy years ago with a view to revamping and reviving its various facets; generating jobs for the citizens, fixing infrastructure and creating multiple sources of revenue generation, among others.

It sad that we have now reached a stage in our national life where the Federal Government of Nigeria and some state governments CANNOT pay salaries of civil and public servants working for them. It was reported on the pages of various national dailies in Nigeria today (o6/05/2015), that the Federal Government of Nigeria has borrowed over N400 billion Naira to pay salaries of federal workers in the past few months. This is the height of shame as a state that cannot pay the salaries of her workers is not different from a failed state.

More dramatic in this entire saga is the inability of some state governments in Nigeria to pay salaries of persons working for them. Just yesterday, Tuesday 5th May, 2015, governors from states controlled by the All Progressives Congress, paid a visit to the president elect of Nigeria, General Mohammed Buhari (rtd) to complain about the poor and pathetic state of Nigerian economy and the inability of their states to pay salaries of civil servants. Some may argue that what they did is a right step in the right direction. I however, take exception to this. These governors have been in power for four to eight years as the case may be but very few of them did little or nothing to diversify the economies of their states and many, if not all of them, are guilty of looting their state treasuries for their personal aggrandizement. Technically, therefore, they should be indicted for the sorry state of our economy today. The tradition has being for all the governors of the thirty six states of Nigeria to rely heavily on monthly revenue allocations from the federations accounts to run their states. To put it succinctly, state and local governments in Nigeria do rely on the Federal Government to 'SPOON-FEED' them like nursing mothers do feed their babies from the feeding bottle. This is what I mean by the practice of feeding bottle federalism in Nigeria.

The practice of feeding bottle federalism in Nigeria is largely responsible for the high and alarming level of underdevelopment that pervades the various aspects of our national life. This is compounded by corruption on the part of government officials who siphon public funds for their personal aggrandizement . It is no longer news that many of the so-called states and local governments in Nigeria are not viable economically. Most, if not all of them, CANNOT survive economically without financial support, by way of monthly revenue allocation  from the central government. This is because many of them generate little or no internal revenue. Even those that do generate cannot account for it due to corruption, hence, the over dependence on the central government.                  
 It is not possible to talk about revenue allocation without generation. State governors and local government chairmen in Nigeria should start talking about revenue generation and talk less about allocation from federal government.

What we are witnessing now regarding the inability of the federal and some state governments in Nigeria to pay salaries of workers and attend to affairs of state will continue for a very long time to come so much as the country continues to depend on crude oil as the only key source of revenue generation for the state while corruption remains in the system. We must realize that this 'OIL-BASED' economy is not working. This is the time to diversify our economy. This is the time for state and local governments in Nigeria to start generating revenue and consciously reduce over-dependence on the Federal Government for money. Now is the time for Nigeria to adopt TRUE FEDERALISM. This would accord  each state and local government in Nigeria with the constitutional power to harness and explore the hitherto untapped resources in their domains for development purposes while still paying taxes and maintaining allegiance and loyalty to the federal government, which, in turn would use its share of our collective wealth to develop the whole country.

Not until every state and local government in Nigeria begins to generate revenue, I am afraid, they would continue to suffer financial embarrassment and unable to pay workers salaries and attend to other matters financially. Visiting General Buhari to complain about the poor state of the economy and inability to pay salaries is not enough, all governors, APC or PDP, MUST look inward and develop their states from revenue that accrue to them. It is also imperative that the Nigerian constitution be reviewed to empower state and local governments to harness and use resources in their territories for developmental purposes. In all this, corruption MUST be curbed and if possible, eliminated at all levels of government. This is one major way to ensure all round development in the country. In this regard, Nigerians, MUST give the president elect, General Buhari, the needed support to fight corruption and fix Nigeria for the benefit of Nigerians.
You may get the full article on my blog:

This article was originally written on 6th May, 2015. You may visit my blog on for more articles. Thanks.