The ‘Sack Festus Adedayo’ Campaign and the Future of Political Appointments in Nigeria
As soon as news filtered in that Festus Adedayo had been appointed as a Special Adviser to the current Senate President of Nigeria, social media was awash with acclaimed supporters of President Muhammadu Buhari, calling for the immediate termination of the appointment, on the ground that the proposed appointee was an enemy of the ‘party’s Agenda’. They supported their claim by exhuming the previous post the appointee had shared on social media, where he unequivocally castigated the shortcomings of the Buhari-led government.
The protest, in my opinion, was flawed because of the retrogressive tendency of the motive. At a time when the nation seriously needs all hands to be on deck to fix her myriads of problem, one would expect that the reason behind such a protest would have been based on competence. For a group to mobilize online to protest, and to go as far as staging a physical protest at the gate of the National Assembly complex, where they also addressed the press, and publicly declare that they were calling for the sack of an appointee based on his opinion against the President and not on his competence, tells a lot of the retrogressive and self-centred mindset of our people. In the media address, they categorically stated that the protest was to put to an end the era of “monkey dey work, baboon dey chop”. What a shame!
If young people that claimed to be ‘progressives’ could spend so much energy on the ground that someone else is getting access to the cookie jar, or better put ‘national cake’, then we need to have a sober reflection on the future of this country. As it tells so much of the hidden motive for their veneration of political leaders.
It is even more baffling and disturbing to see that young people are the one engaging in such myopic display. One begins to ask, where will the Messiah come from? From this lot? I often shudder at how the idea of singing praises of politicians for peanuts, and political patronage is now ubiquitous among young people.
Nothing gives me sleepless nights than to witness negative a precedence, because I know the devil has a protege. Ademola H. Adigun in one of his articles described how we built the country to what it is today. He gave a vivid explanation of how our little actions and inactions gave us the nation we have today. Negative trends like this are what will finally haunt us in the future. For example, Federal Character in the real sense was well thought out by our founding fathers that initiated it, but cronyism in the selection process ruin the sustainability of that idea. If we were choosing credible and competent people from various regions to occupy the available spaces, Federal Character would not have been bitting so hard, and our productivity level would not have been this low. But when we added tribalism, cronyism, nepotism, and all the ‘negative-ism’, it took out the chances that Federal Character had to survive. Today, we are all culprits in the mess we created.
With the amount of money we spend on governance if we can’t get our leaders based on competence, why do we want to still truncate the little opportunity we have to get credible political aides? Is it not a great disservice to our collective good, that we have to sack an appointee, not on the ground of competence? How do we survive as a people if we have dunce as a political office holder and then bigger dunce as the aide? Would that not amount to double loss on taxpayers money?
When are we going to be free from this ‘chop I chop’ mentality that has and is still holding us down as a people?
If we want to officially reduce our politics to strictly political party affairs where the winner takes all, what then happens to ideas, and experts that share a different political party from that of the ruling party? Should we neglect their ideas and expertise at the detriment of the nation based on their opinions of the leadership of the party in power?
As we gradually lay a faulty foundation for this building, we should not forget that we will all be in the building together. And when it collapses it will not ask whose head is that of political Party A or Party B.
This negative precedence should be condemned by all well-meaning Nigerians!
Socio-politico observer, writes from Edo state.
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IDEDE Oseyande, a graduate of the Federal University of Technology, Akure, is an unrepentant believer in the Nigeria project.
His concern for the actualisation of a prosperous nation and the continent, in general, is reflected in his written works.
He currently runs an online advocacy platform (www.socialwatchdog.ng) where he engages the government and the people.
Among his published works are ‘What is Left of What is Right?’, ‘The Portrait of a Revolutionary Leader’ and ‘Warri No Dey Carry Last’.
He is a guest writer for several blogs and his Attitudinal and Behavioral Coaching classes has transformed many lives.