The Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship (NCGF) yesterday said the alleged lopsided appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari were more threatening to the unity of the country than the activities of the Boko Haram Islamic sect in parts of the federation.
Reacting to the execution of 11 Christians on Christmas Day by ISWAP insurgents in Borno through a statement by its national president, Prof. Charles Adisa, and national secretary, Onyenachi Nwaegeruo, the body accused Buhari of “using instrument of religion and ethnicity to gain unfair advantage in his quest for political power.”
It claimed the current government had exhibited the “worst ethnic and religious bigotry in running the affairs of the country than any other administration in five years.” Admitting that Boko Haram and its murderous activities were a threat, the NCGF pointed out that it did not constitute as much threat to national unity as the “hypocrisy of the political class, especially those who use religion to achieve their political goals.”
The body alleged: “President Buhari’s sectarian disposition in his appointments, his antagonism of some sections of the country and the replacement of southerners with northerners of Islamic disposition each time there is vacancy in government position speak more divisiveness than Boko Haram activities.
“The Nigeria Christian Graduate Fellowship is neither justifying the activities of Boko Haram nor trivialising the issue of the execution of our Christian brethren, but we are worried more by the hypocrisy of the president whose actions and inactions, such as pardoning, recruiting and absorbing “confessed” Boko Haram members into the military have emboldened the insurgents all the more. How so much better it would be if Mr. President would live and lead by example rather than pontificate on national unity.”
The fellowship continued: “We also disagree with President Buhari’s assertion that “these agents of darkness are enemies of our common humanity and don’t spare any victim, whether Muslim or Christian.
“How would Mr. President explain the release of Muslim students of Dapchi by Boko Haram while Christian Leah Sharibu is still being held? Or how would he explain the release of two hostages who are Muslims while the 11 Christian hostages were executed? If Boko Haram members do not discriminate, could President Buhari release to the world the number of Muslim victims in the last 10 years of the insurgency, as against that of Christian victims, so as to show the balance in terms of the numbers?”
However, the Humanity Christian Church has also flayed the killing of 11 faithful by the ISWAP terrorists in the northeastern state. Its founder, The Sister Laureate, regretted that no fewer than 3,700 Christians had been killed for their faith – almost double the number a year ago (an estimated 2,000) – in the north and Middle Belt region.
It is worth-noting that Buhari’s Islamization agenda is no longer a secret in light of prevailing developments. When Buhari came to power in 2015, he allegedly plagiarized a line: “I belong to everybody and to nobody.” His apologists screamed to the High Heavens that he was non tribal and a born-again democrat who had contested elections four times before his surprise victory against the incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan. Action speaks louder than words and it wasn’t long before Sai Baba as he is fondly called began to reveal his true colors.
A few prominent examples will drive home the point. The appointment of Dr. Ibe Kachikwu as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was widely celebrated not only by stakeholders but by many Nigerians in general. He had his Masters and Doctorate Degree from the world’s best educational institution – Harvard and was a top shot in America’s largest oil and gas company and one of the nation’s largest international oil companies, Exxon Mobil. Barely a year later, he was eased out of the NNPC for a northerner; Maikanti Baru.
The immediate past Boss of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Babatunde Fowler revolutionized the tax administration in the country. He increased the revenue base from three trillion annually to over eight trillion. He expanded the tax base to include companies operating in the digital space which were hitherto untaxed. What was his reward? An infamous query by Abba Kyari, the powerful northern chief of staff who is arguably one of the most visible faces of the cabal and his replacement by Muhammed Nami, a northern tax consultant.
Dr. Muiz Banire SAN, a legal luminary and academic was Chairman of the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON). He combined both town and gown as he was at home in politics and legal practice. He was also the legal adviser to the APC. When his tenure ended, he was replaced by a northerner, Edward Adamu. Likewise, after the resignation of Mrs. Kemi Adeosun as the Minister of Finance, she was replaced by a northerner, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed. Not only that; the finance ministry was then expanded to include that of budget and national planning vacated by another southerner, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma.
After the controversial and unceremonious sacking of former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen from office, a northerner, Justice Tanko Mohammed immediately succeeded him despite the presence of many southern Justices of the Supreme Court who were eminently qualified. Most of the service chiefs are from the north as well in spite of the fact that many southern military officers have performed creditably well in foreign peace keeping missions and could be the solution to the Boko Haram insurgency that has defied all solutions at the moment.
The northernization agenda has given the verve to secessionist agendas most notably that of the Indigenous Peoples Republic of Biafra (IPOB) being spearheaded by Mazi Nnamdi Kanu who was forced to jump bail and flee abroad on a self-exile. There are also cries for an Oduduwa Republic though not as loud as that of IPOB. The former Niger Delta militants have been threatening to return to the creeks to take up arms and the entire nation is in a gargantuan mess because of the fear of ethnic domination. Buhari must critically and urgently review his appointments as they aren’t reflective of the federal character which the 1999 constitution enshrines to ensure balance.