Debo Adeniran, the Executive Chairman of the Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, has urged people not to be quick in criticising President Muhammadu Buhari on the perceived nepotism in appointments and projects allocations carried out by his administration.
The CACOL boss, however, noted that there were adequate reasons for Nigerians to be agitated if Buhari’s government cannot justify its actions.
Adeniran, who was speaking against the backdrop of the criticisms that trailed appointments, projects allocations and resource sharing said, “Let us agree that an incipient nepotism is developing or has been growing prior to now. We should not mince words; nepotism is a form of corruption and it contradicts the supposed anti-corruption image of the Buhari-led administration and the so-called change mantra of his political party, the All Progressives Congress.”
In a statement issued on Monday, CACOL said the country’s wealth should be evenly distributed, though it noted that equity must not be trivialised.
“By this we mean, no component part of the country should be discriminated against in project allocations and federal appointments but meritocracy and fairness should be the underlining precautions that must always be factored in when it is about administration and governance in a democracy. For instance, the present agitations over some projects allocated to the north-eastern part of the country should not generate so much foray in public discourse were it not for the constant distrust that leaders have instilled in the minds of the people,” it said.
Speaking further, the group asserted that it was not out of place to allocate more projects to the North-East because of the challenges the area is facing.
“It may not sound fair, but we want the President to defend his action. He has a responsibility to justify it convincingly to Nigerians that the allocations are not nepotistic. There should be no equivocation in taking decisions that would largely be acceptable to Nigerians as long as equity in sharing resources is prioritized to a very large extent. The truth is that the present government cannot wish away or invalidate the genuine agitations of the people and that is simply because they are valid.
“We should now realize why people clamour for a rotational presidency; give a madman a hoe, he’ll make ridges for himself. If a president comes from the North or South, it’s expected he’ll take care of his own first. Admittedly, this is antithetical to democracy,” it added.