August 30, 2023

Avoid ‘Yurubanisation’ of your gov’t, Arewa Economic Forum charges Tinubu

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Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief

The Arewa Economic Forum (AEF), has charged President Bola Tinubu not to “Yorubanise” his government.

 Addressing the media in Abuja, today, the Chairman of AEF, Alh Ibrahim Dandakata, said that President Tinubu has been replacing Northerners with Yorubas in his appointment into key positions in his government.

 The Chairman cited the removal of the Ag. Director-General of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), Engr Aliyu Abubakar Aziz, who was sent on retirement leave and replaced with Engr Bisoye Coker-Odusote.

She was asked to act as D-G for three months before commencing her substantive appointment as D-G for a full tenure.

According to Alh. Dandakata, “This is curious and unprecedented. If the President could not allow the most senior director in the Commission to act for some time, he should have instructed Madam Coker-Odusote to resume her four-year tenure immediately instead of making her enjoy extra three months. This is capable of setting a bad precedent in public service appointments.

“There is palpable fear that more Northerners may be recommended for removal and their replacements may take a similar pattern.

“We are afraid to state that a situation whereby the appointees in crucial economic sectors are not only from the southwest but also connected to the Lagos axis suggests a deliberate ‘Yorubanisation’ and ‘Lagoslisation’ of the polity.”

The forum said that the president still has the privilege of other appointments and should not allow sectional pressure to mislead him.

The Chairman’s words, “It is not too late for Mr. President to turn the corner and do the needful in upcoming appointments and crucial decisions.

“We believe firmly that this President means well for our dear nation but he and his lieutenants need to understand optics as perception is reality.

“We urge Mr. President not to yield to sectional pressure for parochial appointments and patronage on the critical sectors of our economy.

“In his appointments, changes and replacements, we call on the President to be wary of actions that can send a wrong signal on his true intentions or the agenda of some of his key lieutenants.

“We expect President Tinubu to be fair, just and equitable in his decisions not only because the Northerners overwhelmingly voted for him but because that is the right thing to do.” 

 Asked why the Forum did not raise objections to the former President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointments which were said to favour a section of the country, Alh. Dandakata said that AEF was not in existence under Buhari.

He added, “A bad precedence should not be repeated.  If the past administration did something that was very bad, the current administration should not do it.”