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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Why Are They Not Accepting Buhari’s Appointments

The news that Governor Rochas Okorocha rejected the appointment of his daughter, Mrs. Uju Onwuka as a member of the governing board of the Federal College of Education (Tech), Omoku, Rivers State may have puzzled some.

Uju, the governor’s daughter is married to Dr. Uzoma Awuka, the son of the Minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwuka who was nominated for ministerial duty by the governor. Before his ministerial appointment, Anwuka had served as Secretary to the Government in his in-law’s administration in Imo State. As minister in the Federal Ministry of Education, the possibility of the minister or some aides influencing his daughter-in-law’s appointment into a federal board was not improbable.

Given the fact that another Okorocha daughter is married to the governor’s chief of staff, Mr. Uche Nwosu, the moral scruple of such marital linkages was perhaps not the issue for Governor Okorocha in rejecting the appointment. Suggestions that the governor thought the position given his daughter as condescending was not addressed in the governor’s public rebuff of the appointment.

President Muhammadu Buhari
What was more of an issue for the governor was that he was not consulted before the appointment.

The governor’s public denunciation of the offer from the Federal Government was to any one that cared a demonstration of his umbrage at the protocol slight.

But how such faux pas became a hallmark of the present administration in Abuja is remarkable.

Mrs. Uju Onwuka is not the first to have publicly walked away from a Federal Government appointment. It had in the past been alleged that it is a rarity for Nigerians to walk away from political office.

However, the practice is almost turning into a fad given the embarrassing walkouts by nominees from appointments offered by the administration in Abuja.

Dr. Usman Bugaje, spurned his nomination as an ambassador having not been consulted before the announcement. He gave reasons for his action on his Facebook page where he said his hands were too full at the Arewa Research and Development Project (ARDP).

“I have weighed the options and have decided to remain home and continue the struggle for development and good governance,” Dr. Bugaje wrote.

Mrs. Paullen Tallen was another ambassadorial nominee who rejected Mr. President’s nomination. She also cited the ill-health of her husband who subsequently passed on about six months later. However, underlining the rejection was her claim that the appointment would have further polarised the appointments on the Plateau given that she is from the same senatorial district as Governor Simon Lalong and the Minister of Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalung.

It was perhaps salutary that Governor Lalong commended her for rejecting the nomination. “When I heard the announcement I was very shocked because what happened was without proper consultation,” the governor said.

Such lack of tact was also obvious when Senator Osita Izunaso rejected the juicy position of membership of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. Izunaso’s reason was that he is not from the oil producing region of the state, the section which should ordinarily produce the state’s representative on the board.

Willy-nilly there were also insinuations that Izunaso may have also been persuaded that the position of National Organising Secretary of a well funded ruling party may be juicier than that of a state representative on the NDDC board.

Izunaso and Tallen understandably gave sound reasons for spurning their nominations. There were others who simply did not give such courtesies.

Akintunde Akinwande, a Nigerian-American professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who was nominated to be chairman of the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), did not bother to come for the expected Senate confirmation screening despite repeated postponements.

Another Nigerian appointed by executive fiat as executive director of a Federal Government health

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