[Analyses]–As I remember now, when I was much younger, how my dad used to have visitors and how these visitors prevented me from gaining access to my father. My own father! Painful, right? Well, in case your answer is in the affirmative, then think of how pained Ibe Kachikwu must have been while he was penning that letter in which he accused the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr. Baku of highhandedness and erosion of extant policies, and —most important of all— the frequency with which the unscrupulous appointment-bookers denied him access to the President. In case you have forgotten: Buhari is both President and Minister of the ministry for which Kachikwu is Minister of State. Therefore, it is totally preposterous to prevent Kachikwu from seeing the President. Well, in the following paragraphs, we shall dissect the ramifications of the letter’s leak; its content, and what it means for Nigeria moving forward. Shall we?
FIRST OF ALL, THE BUHARI ADMINISTRATION SHOULD STOP TREATING CLASSIFIED INFORMATION AS NICETIES.
To remember that just recently, a memo written by Gov. Nasir El-Rufai to the President got leaked to the public is just a shame. What is most painful is that while we were still ruminating on that gaffe, this bombshell dropped. It is time the President investigated the loopholes from which these heart-to-hearts leak; of which failure to do will ultimately result in the Elder Statesmen leaving him to saunter solely through the boulevard of governance. Simply put, the Obasanjos will stop advising him; the Tinubus, the Babangidas,etc. will desist from telling Buhari the truth — something very few of his ministers and advisers are willing to do in the interest of their pockets.
FOR ALL THE FUSS ABOUT HER CLAIM, AISHA BUHARI HAS BEEN RIGHT ALL ALONG
When, sometime earlier this year, the wife of the President claimed that her husband was no longer in charge, the public pounced on her with all sorts of tag. I am a member of the public and by extension, I joined in the laceration. Now I know better; after all is it not said that the logic of a madman is a sane man’s confusion? Make no mistake: Buhari is only now a figurehead of this government, he is only there to make approvals whereas the real President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is sitting somewhere in Buhari’s cabinet. Aisha said it; Saraki said it; You cannot deny it; I know it. In the presence of two or three a matter is established. Case closed.
EXAMINING THE PIG-HEADEDNESS OF BUHARI’S APPOINTEES.
If you notice above, I have tried to establish circumstances of razor-thin difference which points to the same cause. In this case, it will be no different.
Earlier this year, Prof. Isaac Adewole, the health Minister, suspended the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) boss, Prof Yusuf Usman. Yusuf was suspended over allegations of financial misconduct and ultimately, Yusuf rejected the suspension! Mind you, the NHIS is a parastatal under the health minister which Adewole heads.
Just like Yusuf, Baku is the head of a parastatal under a ministry in which Kachikwu is head. This mutiny has continued, and if nothing is done, there will be problem — if there is none already —in Buhari’s government.
BUHARI, YOUR MINISTERS ARE CO-PILOTS OF YOUR PROJECTS, THEY MUST HAVE UNDENIABLE ACCESS TO YOU!
It’s as simple as that. These guys work day and night for Buhari’s dream of a perfect Nigeria to come pass (at least we are meant to believe so). Therefore, it is highly unreasonable for these guys to begin to tussle for appointments to see the same man that appointed them. They should have access at any time within working hours, of course except when the President is preoccupied.
WHAT NEXT FOR IBE KACHIKWU AND OTHER MINISTERS IN HIS SHOES?
Resignation? Continuation? Sack? These are three words that must have puzzled Aisha Al-hassan in the time of her well-publicized blunder, where she pledged allegiance to Atiku Abubakar. These are three words that must be taking sleep off Kachikwu’s eyes right now especially considering the leakage of his secret letter; but there is a divine tendency for him — or them— to want to remain. No Presidential appointee wants to leave office without leaving a legacy (either good or bad). The Diezanis left a legacy; the Okonjo-Iwealas left a legacy; the Jegas left a legacy, and so Kachikwu wants to be the ‘bad guy’ in whose tenure importation of fuel ceased to happen and in whose time the pump price was as cheap as sachet water. Therefore, the ministers must ensure that the unbecoming attitude of these charlatans do not affect them; they must stay focused on their respective projects, Lai Mohammed inclusive!
In conclusion, this is a lesson to all: when preparation meets opportunity, success is inevitable. Buhari had the opportunity, but wasn’t prepared (something I find puzzling considering the fact that he contested three previous times before winning). Ultimately, Buhari’s government has turned out to be what it is.
Anushiem Chidera writes from the University of Ibadan and can be reached via his e-mail address at email@example.com
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