Will President Buhari see through the current media battles being waged to damage the reputations of men
and women who are itching to do business with his government?


In an article published by the Washington Post on July 20, President Muhammadu Buhari stated that he would not constitute a full cabinet before
September 2015.

Let us hope that the likes of Babatunde Fashola and Rotimi Amaechi
will survive before then.

I think the President is to be blamed for giving the
impression that he is looking for “saints” to serve in his cabinet. Right from the campaign days, he had made it clear that he would not appoint corrupt people into his government. The intention is good and the politics of making it a campaign issue was excellent, but hammering on it after the elections was not strategic, judging by what has happened. There are
three implications of this state of affairs, and they are not looking good for the All Progressives
Congress (APC) and its new national leader.

One: At a policy retreat that preceded Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s run for the Presidency in 2007, My working group advised that Atiku should carefully search out the team that he will work with should he be elected. Malam Nasiru el Rufa’i wasted little time in announcing his key cabinet members because he was ready for the job that he sought.
Two: The President unwittingly acknowledges that his party may be the change agent but is actually composed of corruption-tainted folks from whom it has been difficult to find 25 good, competent men and
women of impeachable integrity. The longer this search takes, the more this
notion is reinforced. The matter is not helped by stories filtering out on the
recruitment process whereby quite a large number of prospects are alleged to
have been disqualified on account of corruption stains found on them.

Three: This long search gives state and regional power mongers the opportunity to complete the demolition of a few good men and women who have ambitions to serve either as ministers or in other federal
appointive positions. This trend began in my home state of Enugu,
where the local branch of the APC fought to seal the fate of Prof. Bart
Nnaji as a possible appointee, by blocking all moves to have him cross over to the party to be in contention. In Rivers State, the
PDP is currently waging a noisy battle to have the immediate past governor stripped
down to his corruption underpants for the whole world to see. In Lagos State, APC
power mongers are said to be behind the effort to show the immediate past
governor as just another ordinary Nigerian thief.  

These battles are waged relentlessly in the media
which appear to have been recruited to accommodate sponsored editorials and
interviews against individuals wanting to get into public office, wishing to continue doing
business with government, or wishing to occupy “juicy” MDA positions. One example of the effort to stop an individual always lurking at the corridors of power to gain business advantage is the Obasanjo attack on his former protégé, Emeka Offor. One wonders when they fell out and why. Another aimed at possible ministerial appointment is the controversy on the Tunde Fashola website.
Will President Buhari be able to see through the media battles
being waged by the likes of President Olusegun Obasanjo, for example, to damage
the image of the men and women that are itching to do business with government –
as public officers or contractors?

September will tell.

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