President Buhari’s Noise-Makers (Ministers): why would anybody accept to be one of them?

A remarkable thing about Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria, is that he wears his heart on his sleeves. He doesn’t shy away from saying his mind even if that statement would turn out to be a gaffe.

For instance, on his first official trip to the US, Buhari practically said that the section of the country that gave him fewer votes during the presidential election should not expect much from his government.

Although his media aides tried to explain away Buhari’s error of judgment while making that statement, but the appointments that he subsequently made reinforced his beliefs.

As such, IGBO people of South Eastern Nigeria gave Buhari the least votes during the presidential election. And thus, Buhari did not appoint any of them to closely work with him in the presidential villa.

Even the position of Secretary to the Federal Government (SFG), which All Progressives Congress (APC), Buhari’s political party, impliedly zoned to the South East was denied Ndigbo.

However, some individuals including a few Igbo people believed that Ndigbo deserved Buhari’s neglect since they didn’t give him their 100% votes. In short, whoever thinks along this line should simply be classified as ignorant.

Every political party in the countries of the world has its stronghold. For instance, the US Democrats will always win in California. Therefore, would that make a Republican president to neglect the State of California? If the answer is no; then why is it an issue in Nigeria? – Parochial Philosophy.

Moreover, every reasonable person understands that nobody scores 100% in an examination. In fact, only a hallucinating man would expect to win all the votes cast during a presidential election.

Nevertheless, Pres Buhari’s lopsided federal appointments rattled some concerned citizens. And as usual, Buhari’s aides tried to mesmerise the citizens with the notion that there are other positions to be filled. And that people should only complain when all the positions have been exhausted.

But during his interview with BBC (Hausa service), Buhari explained that he appointed the people that he can trust. In other words, Buhari couldn’t find a person to trust amongst his APC members from the South East of Nigeria.

Not even the distinguished and consistent Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu could be trusted by Buhari. And that is the story of Nigeria and her disjointed unity, coming from a supposed father of a ‘nation’.

Anyway, the appointment of his ministers is next to follow. Buhari promised to appoint them by September. But before then, Buhari told his audience in France that in Nigeria, Ministers are nothing but noise-makers.

In other words, if not because it is constitutional to appoint ministers, Buhari would have preferred to govern Nigeria with civil servants alone. The people he claimed that perform the ministerial duties.

Well, Buhari has sent 21 ministerial nominees to the senate for confirmation. And once the Senate clears them, Buhari will have 21 noise-makers to work with. And Nigerian people will pay for their ‘services’ to the nation, which is noise making.

The nominees will eventually become Buhari’s ministers. This is on the assumption that he truly needs these people; otherwise, Buhari will subtly get rid of them by asking them to publicly declare their assets. In all honesty, only few of these nominees can prove the source of their wealth.

All the same, Buhari’s mindset suggests that he has appointed these ministers to ‘fulfil all righteousness’ – to satisfy the Nigerian constitution. And it took Buhari 4 months to appoint his ministers because he was looking for saints amongst sinners.

And since he couldn’t find any saint in Nigeria and those in heaven didn't want to take up appointments in Nigeria for the fear of being corrupted, Buhari will definitely be working with the devils that he supposedly knows - the civil servants.

And I suspect that Buhari will issue an express instruction to these civil servants to always ‘obey the last order’. And that last order belongs to Buhari. And that will certainly make the ministers redundant.

In addition, Dr Fayemi said that Buhari didn’t tell him and other nominees before sending their names to the Senate for approval. If that was the case, how does Pres Buhari expect his nominees to know that they are his future Ministers? I guess through the media. And Dr. Fayemi, a PhD holder didn’t see Buhari’s behaviour as derogating.

Obviously, Buhari sees the ministerial appointments as a great favour to the nominees. That’s why he didn’t have the courtesy of informing them before hand. And he knows that none of them will reject the appointment as most of them are cheap and hungry.

And it is unfortunate that the only position Buhari deems appropriate for Ndigbo of South Eastern Nigeria in his administration is that of noisemaking. And so, if Senator Ekweremadu didn’t struggle and become the deputy senate president, Ndigbo would have been nowhere to be seen in this political dispensation.

For those who will start accusing me of spreading hate messages, let me inform you that I agree with Buhari that ministers are noise-makers. And the reason why it appears as though I oppose Buhari is that I believe the change Nigeria needs is not leadership but the constitution. And by so doing, Ministers will be appointed to serve than just being noise-makers. 

Finally, why would anybody accept to be Buhari’s noisemaker (Minister)? A position that is akin to the duties of cheerleaders in a typical basketball game. A position Buhari says doesn’t add value to the Nigerian system other than nuisance value. As noisemakers they’ll apparently distract Buhari than attract performance to his presidency.

That’s how low a Nigerian politician can go to remain politically relevant.