President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet is 14 months old now. When his list of ministerial nominees that was widely rumored and eagerly awaited was released, several assumptions and speculations about the portfolios each and every nominee would take were made by experts and ordinary citizens, but they turned out to be rather incorrect. Even the Senate that screened the nominees did their questioning in anticipation of the portfolio each nominee might be assigned based on their respective qualifications, working experiences and life careers. Buhari defeated the people’s thoughts and predictions. He kept his card close to his chest and they speculated wrong.
The appointment of the nominees’ to head their respective Ministries following their confirmation by the Senate was fraught with expressions of concern which the media publicized. What was of concern the most to me about the appointments was the injustice with which the competent and deserving youths that brought this government into power were visited. We the youth are being denied fair representation of our age group despite the fact that we are more than 60% of the entire Nigerian population.
In his early thirties, Buhari became a governor and minister. We the youth of today below thirty years of age never knew the time when Buhari was the Military Head of State. We only heard of his meritorious service geared up by the youthful exuberance of a forty-year-old gallant soldier. He is now turning a blind eye to the youth of that age category, denying them the opportunity of being part of his cabinet which they are competent enough to be part of. Buhari’s ministers and political appointees are old enough to rest and let the youth spearhead the battle. How can a Second Republic minister be a minister in the present times? Are we lacking competent youth? Why on earth should the old breeds keep occupying positions supposed to be occupied by their grandchildren? Don’t they want to leave lasting legacies? If Buhari will not give us the opportunity now, then when? If Buhari will not give us the opportunity at all, then who would? For God’s sake, why won’t the nobodies be allowed to become somebodies?
It is almost exactly 19 months since Buhari took office. Still ringing in the heads of many Nigerians are his many campaign promises, implementation of which has been marked by incompetence and scandals. Where are our N5000 allowances that the Number Two citizen kept talking about? How about the HUAWEI ICT training, the Bank of Industry loan, the N-Power Program and the Police recruitment? Will all these when summed up create the 2 million jobs enshrined in the APC manifesto and promised during campaign?
It is time for Buhari to do away with his incompetent ministers and political appointees that are part of these and other scandals he is presently dealing with. These corrupt people are still energetic and can win the war while Buhari is old enough that he can be relieved of some religious obligations. What he should be doing is grooming the youth for this intellectual and fierce fight like Obasanjo did with El-Rufai, Nuhu Ribado and their likes. He should begin by appointing competent youths because the fight against corruption is much too crucial to be lost. He should know that the youth will not continue to keep faith with him any longer if he fails to include them in his cabinet and other spheres of governance. Come 2017, we will find our own way. We will go for the highest bidder.
Engr. Yusuf Da’awah, Kano