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Buhari’s government for Buhari’s hometown?

By Emmanuel Onwubiko 
18 June 2020   |   4:24 am
I chanced on a senior politician from Katsina who felt so disappointed and absolutely disgusted with the state of insecurity in the Northern states and especially his home state that he told me that almost the greater percentage of the people feeling the impacts of the mass slaughter/massacre

I chanced on a senior politician from Katsina who felt so disappointed and absolutely disgusted with the state of insecurity in the Northern states and especially his home state that he told me that almost the greater percentage of the people feeling the impacts of the mass slaughter/massacre as he calls it are simply fed up with the President who hails from the same state. I quickly reminded him that since the year 2015 that his kinsman came to power that he has concentrated all major infrastructural and institutional projects in Katsina State. I also reminded him that the president has staffed the presidential office with persons who are largely from Katsina State. I showed him the empirical evidence to prove my assertions. He looked at me with a considerable sense of disappointment that I displayed what he calls overwhelming lack of understanding or willful ignorance of the topography of Katsina State and then he wasted no time to reel out the few projects that the Federal Government built around Katsina city by previous administrations and stated with certainty that virtually all the bulk of the projects that I mentioned were located within Daura Emirate which is the direct ancestral homeland of the President.
My friend said the entire staff of the president that I mentioned are from his state are the direct biological relations of the president and then shockingly told me that the president is the most nepotistic leader that Nigeria has ever had since the amalgamation of the North and the South by Lord Lugard in 1914. This very senior politician is not alone in the North among those that hold such an opinion about the style of the current president because long before today that i met with this my friend, the Kano State born politician and a Second Republic House of Representatives member Alhaji Junaid Mohammed had thoroughly listed out the number of Buhari’s blood relations who are holding top Federal Government appointments courtesy of their big brother Major General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd). 

Junaid Mohammed said that Muhammadu Buhari’s relatives are the ones dictating policy in Aso Rock for 170 million Nigerians, adding nepotism to the festering allegation of narrow mindedness leveled against the president, who critics say surrounds himself with Northerners in running national affairs, so says an online media. Junaid Mohammed, politician and Second Republic lawmaker, named at least seven relatives of the president who are the power behind the throne in the Villa – apart from the heads of all vital security agencies who are  from the North. In a telephone interview with TheNiche from his base in Kano, Mohammed accused Buhari of giving key positions to his cousins, nephews, and in-laws, and is therefore guilty of the corruption he is trying to fight. Mohammed, a hardened critic of former President Goodluck Jonathan, and originally a supporter of Buhari, said nepotism compromises Buhari’s ability to rule the country well, fight corruption, and deal with rogue lawmakers who pose a threat to his administration.

“Both the president, particularly his principal adviser, his nephew, one Mamman Daura; then the Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, who in fact was brought up by Mamman Daura, including most of the incompetent ministers, are not cut out to work harmoniously in a political environment with the legislature. Buhari, he said, being surrounded by his own relations who are not politicians. They are not even members of the APC (All Progressives Congress) but dictate policy, especially Mamman Daura. So I can see no peace, I can see no cooperation, and God save Nigeria.” Junaid Mohammed continued: “But unfortunately, for the country and for Buhari’s legacy himself, he has packed the government, and especially the Presidency, which is really the centre of power, and made it top heavy with his own relations. “There are many people who are his own cousins in the Presidency. In my own understanding of history and politics, this is what you call nepotism. And if you are against corruption, you cannot be nepotistic. “So it is really a contradiction for Buhari to have, for example a nephew of his, the son of his elder sister as the Minister of Water Resources, Hadi Sirika, now Aviation. “He has another niece of his, the elder sister of Sirika, who is now a national commissioner in the INEC (Independent National Electoral Commission), Amina Zakari. “They are trying to bury their tracks.

But Buhari nominated her even before he became president when Jonathan asked him to nominate somebody to represent the North West (in INEC). “And then Mamman Daura, virtually runs the government. He has a veto power. There have been instances when Buhari gave written approval for things to be done, and that man went and stymied, threw the paper away. “He has become such a tyrant in the Presidency. He is a nephew to Buhari. His father is the elder brother of Buhari, even though the (age) difference between them is about three years, his father is an elder brother to Buhari and they grew up together. “Abba Kyari was brought up by Mamman Daura. His father left him with Mamman Daura to go to Borno, his original state where he was a village head. “And for all intents and purposes, he is a son of Mamman Daura. He is now the chief of staff to Buhari. His name is Abba Kyari. “Then Kabir Daura the personal assistant to Buhari himself is the son of Mamman Daura. “And then the ADC (Aide de Camp) to Buhari is married to the granddaughter of Buhari’s elder sister. His name is Colonel Lawan Abubakar. “Now with this bloody mess and this disarray and terrible scandal, how can Buhari hope to keep the country in check, and fight corruption and the terrorists?”

Junaid Mohammed’s accusations of nepotism against President Muhammadu Buhari pales into insignificance if you take a closer look at the dizzying speed that ministries and government agencies have since set up strategic national projects in all parts of Daura thereby creating the impression that Buhari’s administration is for Buhari’s hometown. The race for which the Federal Government’s agencies will be the first to set up institutions in Daura kicked off even before the president appointed his cabinet with the setting up of multimillion naira worth Helipad inside the Daura countryside of President Muhammadu Buhari. The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu had said the proposed Federal Polytechnic, Daura in Katsina State commenced academic activities by January.

Adamu had then in 2019 said the institution is to take off in its temporary site – Government Day Secondary School, Daura. Then comes the announcement that the Katsina Refinery would be ready in 2021 as stated by Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu (as he then was) said the approved private sector driven refinery in Mashi, Katsina State will be completed in 2021. Kachikwu, who made this known to State House correspondents in Abuja, said the refinery would have the capacity to produce 150, 000 barrels per day when completed. Kachikwu and the Nigerien Minister of Energy, Foumakaye Gado had on Tuesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Nigeria and Niger Republic on the construction of the refinery at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. “However, presently, we have mentally structured our minds for a three-year period to finish the work on the refinery but that depends on what we find during the technical studies.’’ And then the near moribund National Directorate of Employment whose impacts are absent in all other parts of Nigeria in the South said it had trained 1000 women in Katsina in 2018.
To be continued tomorrow.