Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Nigerians Attack Buhari Over Campaign Promises, Appointments

The presidency has come under heavy attacks for different reasons in different times. While some have accused President Buhari for the perceived lopsided appointments so far, some persons particularly the opposition party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) , blasting the president for distancing himself from promises he made to Nigerians during his campaign.

The Punch reports that several Nigerians on micro-blogging network, Twitter, attacked the President and the All Progressive Congress (APC) for the denial.

Social commentator, Kayode Ogundamisi, said on his official Twitter handle that it was hypocritical of the APC, having allowed the said documents detailing Buhari’s promises to be flying around on the Internet throughout the electioneering, only to rubbish the documents when it was time for reckoning.

“The APC and President Buhari are telling us that they never saw the ‘100-day promise’ document; failing the integrity test so soon? “Prof Yemi Osinbajo mentioned free meals as contained in the 100-day document during his US tour; is he also a loose organ?” he said.

Also commenting, litigation lawyer, Festus Keyamo, said, “If those promises were made in the course of the presidential campaign and they were made by the party for Buhari as the presidential candidate, then it is only proper that the President should deliver on those promises and Nigerians should hold him accountable regarding those promises.

“But then, I can vouch for President Buhari. I travelled with him and I was with him at Chatham House when he was asked a question on what he would do in the first 100 days; and Buhari’s reply was very simple. He said, ‘I consider all of these promises about my 100 days in office fraudulent. I am not going to commit myself to any 100 days promises.’

“That was what he said at the Chatham House in London. But if the party made any promises regarding 100 days, perhaps the President should have corrected them at that time.”

Vanguard newspaper also leads with reactions to the allegations that the president has sideline some ethinic groups in his appointments.

APC’s National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, said the President will balance the appointments in the fullness of time.

“There have been a lot of unfortunate misinformation and uproar against appointments at this stage. We have two sets of appointments that have taken place. One set is the personal privilege of Mr. President, as far as his personal staff are concerned.

“The other set has to do with a few important and strategic persons that are going to help him either in the fight against corruption or the fight against insurgency in the North-east, but this is not where to play the political balancing game. These are serious appointments and the President has the right to appoint those he has confidence in because these are the areas where he has made promises to Nigerians.

“But we have thousands of political appointments and he has just made a few appointments while thousands are still waiting. The balancing must happen when the political appointments are being made but we must not at this particular point in time, with the few appointments, say that one must be from the North, one must be from South or from the East; not at this stage.

Also, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr David Lawal, said his appointment and that of others “were not products of ethnic and religious sentiments.”

“We did not have to pass examination to get appointed into these positions  not because of our tribes, or our faith, or our political groups that we were considered worthy for these positions.

“If it is such, I am sure none of us would have been considered worthy of these appointments. We appreciate the President and we appreciate God who has blessed us with these privileged appointments,” he said.

The Nation reports also lead with the same report as Vanguard. In its report, it added that Ohaneze Ndigbo, the leading socio-cultural group in the south-east region of Nigeria has urged Ndigbo to avoid any confrontation with the present government of Nigeria with Imo state governor, Rochas Okorocha insisting that appointments so far were based on merit.

The main focus of Daily Sun is also on the reactions over the appointments of President Buhari. Sun reported that Ekiti state governor, Ayodele Fayose has described the president as president of the North.

“Under Buhari, are people from Southern Nigeria only meant to be hounded and harassed by anti-corruption agencies and the Department of State Services (DSS) while those from the North are meant to enjoy juicy appointments?”

“Apart from lopsided appointments, I am worried that construction of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway has been slowed down while work has stopped on Lokoja-Abuja road, which are the major roads linking the Southern part of Nigeria with the North,” the governor said.

Guardian  leads with a different story; focusing on the leadership tussle between former Osun state governor, Olagunsoye Oyinlola and Prof. Wole Soyinka over Osogbo UNESCO centre’s leadership.

According to the report, statements and instructions concerning the centre and its programmes have been emanating from two Boards: One headed by the Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka; and other led by a former Osun State Governor, Prince Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

Soyinka, who was appointed Chairman, CBCIU Board by Osun State Governor Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola in August 2012 while Oyinlola serves as the Board Chairman since January 2009 when the centre was commissioned by the UNESCO as the category 11 facility on culture promotion and preservation.

It added that unless the crisis is resolved urgently, the upcoming conference and other goals that the centre is set-up to accomplish might not be achieved.