If a broomstick was only made up of one bristle or piece of grass, it would be useless and have no effect on our households at all. BUT, because all of the bristle/leaves are joined together, the results are incredible!
If not for anything, the message in the analogy above sums up the need for unity. It simply explains the importance of unity in the quest for achieving a greater good. Nigeria’s ‘faults’ may be enormous and the apparent lack of unity among the people could be one of the many reasons for this. It is however more worrisome that public appointees exhibit these discords, and much more worrying, ‘in public’. Members of the Buhari-led administration -the Political Buharists-, have been infamous for many shows of division.
The spate of public show of discord among agencies and appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari portrays the administration in bad light. The most recent of such was the twitter ‘show’ between the CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami. The recent scuffle is one among many that the present administration has witnessed. Let’s take a ride to these recent histories of the public display of disunity the Buhari-led administration have witnessed.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa Vs Isa Pantami
The Chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) has been one of the most vocal supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari. Just like the “unappointed” Buharists, she is quick to display her emotional attachment to the Buhari’s course. Just like Abike Dabiri, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, has been a major face of the administration. Even with this apparent “share of principal”, it did not stop the Minister from tagging Abike Dabiri a liar and the latter firing back by implying that the Minister is a misogynist.
The NIDCOM boss had called out the Minister for using armed men to chase her staff out of her office which the minister immediately tagged the narration a fat lie. In the Minister’s words, “THIS IS A FAT LIE FROM HER”. Responding to being called a liar, Abike Dabiri went all out with the minister. She not only called him a ‘woman hater’ but also sarcastically questioned his Doctorate degree. She said:
“An Islamic scholar should not lie Hon Minister .( Phd😂😂)You did that to me cos I am a woman .Your disrespect for women is legendary Left the ugly incident behind me since Feb. But pls release all our office equipment. Public office is transient [email protected]
Not many would expect such social media war from political Buharists.
SSS Vs EFCC (November 23, 2017)
On Tuesday, November 23 2017, over 35 officers of the Department of States Security Service (SSS) clashed with officers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission after the latter tried to arrest former Directors General of DSS, Ita Ekpeyong and the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Mr. Ayo Oke.
The EFCC had invited the former NIA boss Oke for questioning in connection to the $43.4 million found in an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos but was repelled by the DSS while trying to arrest their former boss. The EFCC has since declared Ayo Oke wanted.
Nigerian Police Vs Nigerian Army
The Police operation to arrest a kidnap kingpin, Hamisu Bala (aka Wadama) at Gidinwaya village of Southern Taraba state turned gory as three policemen were shot dead by soldiers and the suspect eventually freed. The incident led to an open disagreement between the Army and the Police.
Justifying the actions of the soldiers, the army spokesperson Sagir Musa described the police officers as “Suspected kidnappers who turned out to be an Intelligence Response Team…on a covert assignment from Abuja.” Police spokesman, Frank Mba condemned the army’s description of their personnel as suspected kidnappers and challenged the military to provide evidence of its claim that villagers made a distress call to soldiers. All these disagreements were publicised on twitter as questions rose on the reason for such open display between the two most crucial institutions combating the country’s acute insecurity.
Sale Mamman Vs Babatunde Raji Fashola
The present and immediate past Ministers of Power also made it to the Buharists political clash. Sale Mamman, the current Minister of Power, accused his predecessor of mismanaging the “billions of naira poured” into the sector by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In his words, the minister said: “All right thinking Nigerians are aware that since assuming power in 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari has poured billions of Naira and attracted huge investments into the power sector with the aim of improving the generation and distribution of electricity to Nigerians.
“Nigerians should be asking why there was not much improvement in the sector after such concerted efforts by the government and not to encourage “wailers” to sulk over public officers who had been in the ministry for over four years without tangible results.”
Although still serving as Ministers under the same administration, Mamman threw a direct jibe at his colleague Fashola in a fashionable way that suggest lack of cohesion within the administration.
Late Abba Kyari Vs Prof. Yemi Osinbajo
The deceased chief of staff definitely wields a lot of power in the Buhari-led administration. In describing the power wielded by the late CoS, a lawmaker once described him as the Assistant President. Based on such description, the current clash highlighted could be tagged that of an Assistant President versus a Vice President.
In a report by online newspaper PREMIUM TIMES, the Chief of Staff was said to have masterminded the sack of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo from managing Ruga Projects, the Federal Government’s grazing zones scheme for herdsmen.The president had mandated Osinbajo to lead the National Livestock Transformation Plan (NLTP).
The plan, it was gathered, included programmes of rehabilitation of displaced persons in states ravaged by the farmers-herders’ violence and development of ranches for nomadic herders in any willing state of the federation.
However, when Osinbajo sought to implement the project by requesting the approval of N22 billion in a memo to the president, Premium Times reported that Kyari shut it down. The Chief of Staff then proceeded to recommend that Buhari should scrap the NLTP, an initiative by state governors and the vice-president.
Usman Yusuf Vs Isaac Adewole
The former Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, and former Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme, Usman Yusuf, had their fair share of the Buhari political clash. The Minister announced the suspension of the NHIS Secratary over corruption allegations. Responding to the letter, the NHIS boss said he would not obey the suspension. The senate accused Yusuf of corrupt expenditure of N292 million” which he allegedly spent on health care training “without recourse to any appropriate approving authority.” His suspension, the Minister said, was to allow unhindered investigation of the charges against him. The House of Assembly however passed a resolution for his suspension to be lifted.
AGF Malami Vs Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (On Ibrahim Magu as EFCC Chairman)
In mid 2017, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo as the acting President endorsed the continuous stay of Ibrahim Magu as the Chairman of the Economic Community and Financial Crimes Commission. The Attroney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, however fired back at Osinbajo saying that was his personal opinion and not that of the Presidency-Osinbajo is in fact the Presidency in this case. Malami later ‘clarified’ his stance by saying he never questioned the right of the acting vice president to make such endorsement.
Abba Kyari Vs NSA Monguno
After the death of the former Chief of Staff, the media was filled with attempts to rewrite the face of Abba Kyari. Before his death, Abba Kyari was seen as many as the de-facto president-a narrative pushed by many media houses that later tried to retell the story. The final indication of the overriding powers of the late CoS was echoed by the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno. In a livid memo sent to the President, the NSA called out Abba Kyari for his meddlesomeness in the affairs of National security. He accused the deceased Chief of staff of undue and dangerous interference on National Security matters.
Part of the memo reads:
The Chief of staff to the president is not a presiding head of security, neither is he sworn to an oath of defending the country. As such, unprofessional practices such as presiding over meetings with service chiefs and heads of security organizations as well as ambassadors and high commissioners to the exclusion of the NSA and/or supervising ministers are a violation of the Constitution and directly undermine the authority of Mr. President. Such acts and continues meddlesomeness by the chief of staff have not only ruptured our security an defence efforts but have slowed down any meaningful gain that Mr President has sought to achieve.”
The quest for the progress of the country cannot be attained when the members within the administration are divided. Rather than progress, it would amount to chaos. Judging from the Ethiopian proverb that”when spiders unite, they can tie down a lion,” the lion would definitely have a field’s day when the spiders don’t unite. Disagreements are parts of human endeavours and it may likely remain so till the end. What cannot be excused is the public display of skirmishes by government appointees who ab initio align to carry out the plans of their principal-the President. What then accounts for this? Lack of a unifying ideology? Ego? Tribe? Religion? or….?