As soon as any appointment(s) is made, the first likely question most Nigerians would ask you is, what state/zone/tribe etc is S/he from. Rarely do we ask about the qualifications of the appointee(s) and how s/he can deliver. Those not favoured by the appointment(s) will start complaining. Then the spin doctors/conspiracy theorists will move in quickly, and start fabricating all sorts of stories. Mostly, there are stories out of every appointments made by the government. Make no mistake, most of these (spin doctors/conspiracy theorists), make a living out of these fabricated stories, or some try to remain relevant through these means. It becomes an issue, when you see the number of people (both the intelligent and non intelligent) buying into these conspiracy theories.
When you probe further, to discover the reasons, behind these attitudes of so many Nigerians, then you could trace it down to the federal character principle, which is part of the Nigeria’s constitution. Other reasons include what I call “He is my brother or She is my sister syndrome”, scramble and partition of our treasury etc. The author will return to the federal character issue. Still wondering how and why people rejoice, when people are appointed/elected from their zones etc.
Appointees, S/elected officials, Expectations and Realities.
Could anyone point to me any appointee(s), or s/elected officials, (example, Presidents, Governors, Ministers, Commissioners etc), that have transformed their zones or help eradicate unemployment/poverty from their zones. Let’s examine some examples. The Northern (inclusive present day North Central, North West, and North East) part of Nigeria has produced about Nine heads of State/Presidents, but this zone has one of the highest rate of poverty/unemployment etc. Till date, the North is still considered “educationally backward”. Could anyone tell me, if former President Obasanjo, eradicated unemployment/poverty in Ogun State/South West Nigeria? How many roads did he build in his state? Guess we still remembered, what Ex Governor Amechi said about Former President Goodluck (during the APC Port Harcourt campaign), that he (GEJ) did not do anything in Rivers State, he challenged former President Goodluck to name half project he did in Rivers State.
Wishing Nigerians could borrow a leaf or two from whom Ex Gov Amaechi, called his brother, (one who delivers on his service for him). Going by Amechi’s theory, most Northern leaders, should be considered/adopted brothers of the South South region. This theory has my 100% approval. Therefore, having high expectations, when someone from your state/zone etc is appointed into positions, might be a waste of time. The reality is quite different. Most appointees and s/elected officials are only interested in their pockets. Best is to look for who will deliver on his/her jobs roles.
Federal Character Principle.
Fellow Nigerians, our concerns should be merit, and what benefits the masses not few cronies. On this, President Buhari deserves commendation, when he announced that the appointment of Service Chiefs, were solely based on merit. This brings me to the issue of federal character, as this is the root cause of my discussion, why so many Nigerians, will ask of an appointee’s state of origin/zone rather than his/her qualifications/experiences, and ability to deliver etc. The federal character principle was adopted during the 1977 constitutional drafting committee. It became part of the 1979 constitution of Nigeria, and has remained so till date. This gave rise to quota system. From then, merit and competitiveness, were sacrificed for mediocre. This principle also means that appointments have to be spread around. Yours truly is totally against this principle, because it will prevent the best from emerging. Max Weber (1864-1920) said, that employees should be hired and promoted based on merit and expertise. Singapore has an official policy on merit.
Quoting from an article written by the same author in 2009, “It will be better for Nigeria to have credible leaders who will discharge their duties effectively from one section of the country, than what we are having today. Nigerians will benefit more if leaders who will deliver on dividends of democracy emerge from a particular state or region. Choosing leadership based on zoning is completely wrong. This concept of quota system has done more harm than good. Therefore this is the time to abolish quota system or quota will abolish Nigeria”. http://www.cvakutamedia.com/search?q=abolish+quota