by Peregrino Brimah
In 6 months in office, US president Donald Trump has wasted no time in getting rid of people he has issues with. At least 11 officials have been fired in one form or another. The list includes:
NSA Michael Flynn, Acting AG Sally Yates, US Attorney, Southern District of NY, Preet Bharara, FBI Director James B. Comey, Special Prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III, Tom Price of Health, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, White House Advisor Stephen Bannon, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, AG Jeff Sessions (well, being frustrated out) and White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci.
But firing staff either when they fail or as scapegoats is not unique to President Trump. Obama had his share of lay offs. On his list were: Jofi Joseph, a White House national security aide, Top Afghan Commander Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, Shirley Sherrod, of Department of Agriculture employee, CIA Director David Petraeus, White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers, Former State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, and National Endowment for the Arts communications director Yosi Sergant among others.
The problem in and with Nigeria is that no one is ever fired. It took serious protests for former president Goodluck Jonathan to finally fire Stella Oduah after the BMW scandal, and he obstinately refused to fire or at least suspend oil goddess Diezani in spite of knowing that that simple act would have guaranteed him a second term. And now after over two years in office, Buhari is yet to fire a single appointee of his.
Does this mean Nigerian appointees are perfect? Far from it. I’ll list several in the Buhari cabinet who deserve to have been fired or never hired at all in the first place.
Power minister Babatunde Fashola should never have been hired. His senate screening session was a scandal unparalleled. The former governor of Lagos admitted to drilling singular boreholes for nearly half a million dollars. The cost it would take to supply pipe borne water to entire towns, and he insulted the senate in answer by denying that he was the chief accountant of the state, which he was as governor. “I am a lawyer not an accountant,” he shamelessly said. Yet Buhari did not suspend his nomination on the grounds of unbelievable and callous misappropriation. Several years wasted with no expected improvement to power except great deals with the same old cabal like Halliburton Atiku, and Fashola still controls several ministries.
Then there is army chief Tukur Buratai with the scandal of millions of dollars worth of properties in Nigeria and Dubai supposedly bought from the profit of susu (cooperative). Buhari did not fire him for that. He did not even fire him after the human right catastrophe the that shook the world when the Kaduna state government admitted that Buratai had secretly buried hundreds of Muslims he had killed in an overhanded reaction to a youth protest. Not even the directly indicted Kaduna GOC major general Adeniyi Oyebade was fired for that massacre and midnight secret burial.
There is also the Dambazzau scandal, with his name being allegedly removed from the report of an arms money embezzlement probe. Buhari still had him sworn in as his minister and he still remains on seat till today.
Then you have the Abba Kyari scandals involving oil blocs and MTN. He is yet to be fired.
You have the Babachir Lawal scandal, the PINE northeast rehabilitation Grasscutter money looting spectacle. Babachir Lawal was accused of embezzling millions of dollars to rehabilitate the Boko Haram torn northeast. But as wicked as his crime, Buhari has refused to fire him. Even as tens of thousands of Nigerians died and keep dying of hunger, Buhari has still kept Babachir Lawal in his cabinet.
Need I go on? OK. There is the Ikoyi millions that also made embarrassing global headlines. Nigeria’s National Intelligence department’s chief’s wife was found to have used $1.6 million in cash to purchase an apartment in Ikoyi. But not only that, $289 million was removed from the nation’s account for “illegal” projects, which the people believe was sponsoring former president Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign. Of that sum, $43 million was discovered in the NIA director’s wife’s apartment after whistleblowers raised an alarm, but till date Buhari has not arrested, talk-less fired the NIA boss, Ayodele Oke.
And then there is the case of presidential spokesman Garba Shehu, donated by Halliburton Atiku, who keeps on aggressively undermining and sabotaging the current Acting president Yemi Osinbajo. The AgP resists firing him.
Talking about speeches, another crazy one was the embarrassing second Buhari plagiarism case where the president plagiarized Obama’s speeches. Buhari in that case promised to fire his implicated speechwriter the speech. Two years later, no one was fired.
The difference is clear as is the dilemma of Nigeria’s masses. In Nigeria, government is not set up in the best interest of the people but rather in the best interest of itself and its cabal coterie of friends. Thus government appointees can do no wrong to the people in execution of their duties to merit sack. They were not appointed to serve but to fulfill political promises and bargains, thus their remaining in office is not based on constantly re-evaluated performance, but based on fulfillment of a deal with stipulated terms and financial and political transactions, concluded even before they were appointed, most times, before the candidates even won the election.
For Nigeria To Grow, the #CabalMustGo!
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
Dr. PerryBrimah.com; @EveryNigerian