The last is yet to be heard of criticism trailing the appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari as one of the national dailies in the country; the Punch has averred that the President “is by his appointments, presenting himself as a parochial, sectional leader”, adding that the level of sectionalism exhibited by Buhari is unprecedented.
While reminding Buhari of his inaugural speech declaration of “I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody”, the paper, in an editorial published on Monday, noted that the President has breached the pledge, advising him to act like a father to all Nigerians and rise above primordial instincts.
The editorial board of the national daily, which accused Buhari of making appointments that weigh heavily in favour of his northern regional base, was emphatic that sectionalism and nepotism are also acts of corruption, explaining that it is not only when government funds are stolen that corrupt act is said to have been committed.
“Among his first appointments, even while he dithered on assembling a cabinet: he recalled a retired officer to man the Department of State Services; a former army officer to head the Nigeria Customs Service; a personal acquaintance as Chief of Staff, and loaded the other security and law enforcement agencies heavily in favour of Northerners. While the DSS head is from his hometown, Daura, the others are also almost all Northerners and overwhelmingly Muslims. In spite of public opinion, he replaced the immediate past Inspector-General of Police, a Southerner, with a Northerner, an assistant inspector-general whose ascension induced the retirement in one fell swoop of 21 DIGs and AIGs who were senior to him. This is beyond absurdity.
“We declare emphatically that this is corruption. It is wrong to view stealing of government funds as the only form of corruption. A former member of the House of Representatives, Junaid Muhammed, alleges that not only is Buhari sectional in his appointments, several appointees are actually his relatives. Nigerians did not vote against the Jonathan administration’s impunity for corruption, only to be assaulted with another pernicious impunity for cronyism,” the newspaper wrote.