Opinion: Nepotism is not corruption

There is this group of people who can’t wait to prove Nigerians wrong for voting President Buhari in the last elections.

So when the president’s appointments came out clearly in favour of his Northern region, Femi Fani-Kayode quickly declared on Facebook that “Nigerians voted for change and they’ve got the change they voted for.”

I often wonder what the interests of these people are, Nigeria or their own desire to be proven right?

Not in defense though, the views of many Nigerians on the president’s appointments raises a serious question which has surprisingly escaped the mind of the PDP.

Former President Jonathan is known for his famous “stealing is not corruption” declaration though he failed in his attempts to convince Nigerians that he was right in that assertion.

Considering that a lot of Nigerians don’t seem to buy the argument that the President is using merit over federal character in choosing his almost Northern cabinet at the moment, I figure the president might soon have to answer the question of whether nepotism is corruption or not.

In our civic education lessons, we were taught that corruption in one way is a loss of good values and in that list of “loss of values”, nepotism and dishonesty were mentioned among others.

It has therefore become imperative for one to carefully examine our most recent perception of President Buhari; the trust we had in him and our seeming inability to defend him even against our own suspicion of his supposed northern agenda.

I personally would rather want to believe the president is sending a message to the eastern region that they should also follow federal character and not sectional interests the next time they vote, because there are many ways of meeting the demand of federal character even with his current cabinet.

Had it been he didn’t want to make a point, he could’ve at least inserted one eastern name which I believe we will see in the future, they could even be so many we would begin to laugh at ourselves.

We should ask ourselves if it is possible to escape self contradiction if while taking pride in the global recognition of our president as honourable, incorruptible and having integrity, we insert nepotism in his so far outstanding moral credentials.

If we are not patient enough to wait and see what exactly the president is up to, we might then be appending to his famous “I belong to nobody and I belong to everybody” declaration a Jonathan style “nepotism is not corruption” by implication.

We are in the dilemma of labeling our celebrated president a nepotist or being patient with him for yet a little longer to see what exactly he is up to because the former will be an act of pouring mud on the garments which the old man has painstakingly kept almost spotless for close to a century, in which case we will be back to ground zero and maybe have to woo PDP to bring back our Jonathan, the man of federal character so we can share the nations resources to representatives of every region and have them enjoy it on behalf of their people “in accordance with the constitution”.

It’s so funny.


Nenshi James Shieghbee, writes from Jalingo Taraba state.



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