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Buhari’s administration in spotlight again

01 August 2016, 11:39 Okoliko Dominic Ayegba

In recent times, there seems to be manifest signs of an increment in people raising awareness on 'differences' world over. Such differential issues could be race as it is witnessed in America, or citizen vs immigrant issue that is under debate in Europe and elsewhere, or tribes and regional identity as present in Nigeria and most countries in the southern hemisphere. The number of hate crimes committed across cities and towns of our world in recent times, and an increasing agitation for self-determination in many parts of the world are remarkable indicators of the above claim. Without downplaying the atrocities that follow how some persons have chosen to express their perception of self-vis-à-vis institutions that are perceived as marginalising their space within diverse society, we can deduce that the present time should be seen as a call for deeper reflection on plural polity.

In the case of Nigeria with a unique politics of pluralism for instance, it's abysmally unwise for anyone, not the least, a leader to repeatedly downplay the importance of soft politic of inclusion. Even in the face of increasing criticism of the current leadership from various quarters, unfolding events demonstrate that the leadership is bent on holding unto the rhetoric of ‘One Nigeria’ at the expense of a growing dissatisfaction from very important elements within Nigeria’s federating unity. The recent appointment of Nigeria Ports Authority’s (NPA) MD, Mrs Hadiza Bala Usman, another top management recruit from the northern region is a case in point.

One could grant that there are reasons favouring Mrs Usman’s appointment including the question of merit (her outstanding pedigree) or her arguable role in the emergence of Buhari’s presidency and his party’s dominance in Nigeria’s politics (remember she’s a co-founder of #BringBackOurGirls movement that undoubtedly highlighted the ineffectiveness of the past regime to solve security problems in Nigeria which eventually paved way for an alternative), etc. But how far can one stretch any of these claims in the face of a heated national politics where important blocs within the federation from the south are complaining of incessant marginalisation. Are there no persons elsewhere in Nigeria who can qualify on any of these grounds? These are bugging questions really.

Perhaps, it is unwise to keep rehearsing to Nigerians the lyrics of ‘Nigeria’s Unity Is Non-Negotiable’ as it has been accustomed to the central government. Maybe some form of talks aimed at unification is important at this time. How that should be is a big question that needs wider consultation. For the immediate time, there is an urgent necessity on the part of the central leadership to roll out real initiatives that can speak to the sections nursing feelings of marginalisation. Such strategic gestures would raise Nigerians’ confidence that the centre is not for some selected individuals or sections but a place for all Nigerians. This call is premised on the crucial role that social cohesion plays in advancing inclusive and sustainable national development which is more pressing for plural societies like Nigeria where balancing is has been a problem. In this regard, it is a fair expectation the government would heed the ongoing call for it to diversify its workforce. 

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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