Tinubu inauguration: South-East jittery over exclusion
President-elect, Bola Tibubu’s assemblage of transition committee members has become a subject of controversy.
The incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari was roundly criticised for favouring his kinsmen in appointments against other segments of the country, especially the South-East.
Buhari’s government has no Southeasterner in the top security echelon.
Upon assumption of office, Buhari had made it clear that his appointments and infrastructural development would be based on the votes he received across the zones.
His administration has been dogged with allegations of marginalisation against the South-East zone, fueling the various agitations from the area.
A few days ago, Tinubu released members of his transition committee with no single person from the South-East.
Nobody from the South East zone made the cut in the committee made up of names such as Bayo Onanuga, Abubakar Kyari, Stella Okotete, Makinde Araoye, Betta Edu, Imam Faud, Donald Wokoma, Samira Saddik, Andrew Abuh, Danladi Bako, Hadiza Kabir.
Indications are equally rife that the zone would lose out in the contest for the 10th National Assembly leadership.
The outcome of the last general elections showed that the Igbo dominated Southeast and the people of South-South voted massively for the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi.
It is still unclear if the transition committee list has anything to do with the voting pattern during the election
However, even the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar has condemned the composition of the list.
The outgoing President Buhari was also consistently accused of marginalisation and total disregard for Federal Character principle.
Among other major appointments by the President, at one point, the South-East had no representation in the internal board of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and its subsidiaries.
This is despite the zone having two oil-producing states – Imo and Abia. Anambra and Enugu have now joined
Out of 40 senior management positions within the Corporation ranging from chief operating officers and managing directors of its subsidiaries to general managers’ roles in the corporation, 24 are occupied by Northerners, while those from the South head 16.
The President also totally left out the South East from his appointments into the key offices in the military and paramilitary security architecture of the country. For instance, the Chief of Defence Staff, Leo Irabor is from South South; Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru (North); Chief of Naval Staff Awwal Zubairu Gambo, (North); Chief of Air Staff, Ishiaka Oladayo Amao, (South West); Inspector General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, (North); Director General of DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, (North); Ahmed Rufai
Abubakar-NIA, (North); John Mrabure, NCS, (South South); Muhammed Babandede, NIS, North; Hameed Ali, NCS, (North); Ahmed Abubakar Audi NSCDC, (North); Boboye Oyeyemi, FRSC, (North); Liman Alhaji Ibrahim, FFS, (North); Abdulrasheed Bawa, EFCC, (North), Bolaji Owasanoye, ICPC, (South west); Buba Marwa, NDLEA (North).
And following Tinubu’s decision to omit South-East from his recently constituted presidential transition committee, individuals and groups such as Ohanaeze Ndigbo, are wondering if the in-coming administration has inherited the perceived neglect shown to the South-East by the Buhari administration.
But speaking to Lagostrendtv on this issue, Dr. Emeka Nwosu, a political analyst and former Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs to ex-Senate President, Evan Enwerem feels it was too early to start to make projections based on the formation of the transition committee.
He explained, “It is too early to start to make projections whether he is going to be sectional or non-inclusive going by the composition of the transition council.