The Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders CACOL, while reacting to the list of ministerial nominees just submitted to the Senate, had described the long wait that heralded the release as basically unwarranted.
The Coalition’s Executive Chairman, Debo Adeniran, has expressed utter disappointment over most of the names making the list. “By the way, where lies the change Mr. President and the APC have been promising Nigerians all this while if appointment into his cabinet is still the same old style of ‘settling the boys’, regardless of whether or not such appointment enjoys any merit.” Mr. President had kept Nigerians on the edge for almost 4 months of waiting anxiously to welcome the super technocrats that would steer the ship of change in our polity but what have we now seen? The same old wine in a new bottle.
CACOL is of the opinion that Nigerians wouldn’t have been too bothered over the list as they would have simply taken it as the usual fashion typical of the average Nigerian politician but for the mere fact that the president had consistently appeal to Nigerians for understanding and be patient with him as he embarked on the search mission for the qualified hands for the jobs. Given the president’s assurance overtime, the average right-thinker would have expected to see in the list, names of established technocrats in the roll-call of academics and professionals of repute and there is no disputing the fact that our nation has it in abundance, both within and outside these shores.
We make bold to say that Nigerians are not difficult to govern as some narrow minds are wont to posit, rather they appreciate good and result-oriented ideas whenever any leader comes up with one. Apart from the example of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo whose enviable legacy had ever remained a bench-mark in the annals of governance in the South-West geo-political zone of this country, the appointment of the erstwhile chairman of INEC in person of Professor Atahiru Jega by the Jonathan’s government, enjoyed popular commendation by the of Nigerians across the length and breadth of the country.
The common question on the lips of the people today has been; why the long wait; why the anxiety and hope for change, since we are not going to witness anything outside the status quo? Some of the nominees, for instance, are too controversial for comfort:
MR. BABATUNDE FASHOLA – With the avalanche of allegations bothering on his administration’s leaning for elitist programs at the expense of what should be of benefit to the common man in Lagos State. Provision of essential infrastructures like roads, transportation facilities and other social amenities in such a way as to justify the huge revenue, both internally generated and from the federation account was clearly lacking. There were also cases of contracts been apparently over-bloated.
MRS. KEMI ADEOSUN – A very powerful commissioner in the cabinet of Senator Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State. There have been allegations ranging from financial impropriety and corrupt enrichment to graft. She is been severally accused of diverting state projects to her personal benefit or that of her cronies.
It must be understood that, by citing these two examples, we are not trying to label the others as saints, what CACOL is only saying is that, since these nominees are to be entrusted with state funds and projects, the presidency ought to have carried out a thorough findings on the allegations leveled against them with a view to determining their culpability or otherwise before proceeding on making such nominations.
On a final note, now that the long-awaited list is out, even though most Nigerians have their reservations based on their jettisoned expectations, we want to call on the Senate to do the needful and shun any consideration other than that of the overall interest of Nigeria and Nigerians, by doing a thorough screening and drilling on the nominees, and NOT the traditional ‘take a bow’ ceremony, as this, at the end of the day, remains the only way by which the hallowed chamber of law making could justify the confidence reposed in it by the people that elected them. The days of ‘just come and chop’ should be over; it should now be that of ‘come and work’.