By Kingsley Chukwuka, Jos
The letter written to President Muhammadu Buhari by the former Military Governor of Kaduna State, Col. Abubakar Umar (rtd.), on the lopsided appointments made by his administration has gained the attention of a group, Campaign for Equity, who has hitherto been calling Buhari to order through various publications.
Umar who has written to the President on the violations of the principles of federal character in his appointments, has however warned Buhari not to ruin the country by his unrepentant ethnic bigotry
Saluting the courage of a fellow northerner to tell Buhari his sins, Campaign for Equity, led by its National Coordinator, Oliver Akosa, said Umar’s letter was a step in the right direction and had vindicated their position that federal appointments were made to a favour a section of the country to the detriment of others.
“Buhari’s lopsided and skewed appointments is capable of bringing Nigeria to ruins, Umar’s letter is a clarion call”, Akosa said.
Buttressing their point, the group in a statement sent to our correspondent in Jos on Wednesday, said, “we are delighted that voices of reason are talking and are reinforcing the points we have been making about the refusal of Mr. President to recognise that Nigeria is a federation and should be governed as such.
“Umar particularly referred to the utter imbalance in the headship of security services and warned Mr. President to retrace his steps before Nigeria slides into anarchy.
“Umar’s declaration is clearly in line with our earlier position which drew attention to the lopsidedness in the constitution of the Board of Trustees of the Police Trust Fund, an important security agency of the country.
While reiterating our position on this anomalous constitution of the PTF board, we wish to add here that cronyism which the appointment promotes will deepen the woes of the Nigeria Police Force which Mr. President, ostensibly, set out to rescue from its sorry state.
“Let us remind Mr. President that the raison d’être for the setting up of the PTF as contained in the Nigeria Police Trust Fund Establishment Act, 2019 was to retool policing architecture in Nigeria. To achieve this, the PTF is expected to ensure a well-funded, well-equipped, and highly professional Nigeria Police Force in line with international best practices.
“It was also for the purpose of meeting this objective that President Buhari reestablished the Ministry of Police Affairs. All of this was aimed at reforming policing architecture in order to deepen the country’s internal security.
“But we regret to note that the proper policing architecture we are yearning for cannot be realised with the present crop of people, particularly the leadership, who have been appointed by the president to lead the PTF.
“If Mr. President appreciates the full import of federalism, he would not give us a police force whose ministry is headed by someone from Sokoto state and at the same time give us a PTF whose Executive Secretary is from the same Sokoto State. This arrangement smacks of utter disregard for the fine tenets of federalism”, the statement added.
Akosa said to make matters worse Buhari appointees are mere cronies of the government who do not have the technical know-how to reform the Nigeria Police Force.
“What contribution, for instance, will Muhammad Maigari Dinyadi make to policing in Nigeria? He does not have anything to recommend him. The much Nigerians know of him is that he was a former political appointee who bit the finger that fed him. He is just a square peg in a round hole. That is why he has not been able to bring about the much talked about reforms to the Nigeria Police Force. Of course, it is a truism that you cannot give what you do not have.
“What about Ahmed Aliyu, the Executive Secretary of the PTF Board? Ahmed Aliyu it was who ran for election to the office of governor of Sokoto state. He lost the election and went into litigation until the Supreme Court dismissed his case as lacking in merit.
“Now, Ahmed is gearing up for another shot at Sokoto government House. The implication is that he will be concerned more with making money from the PTF to finance his election than concentrate on the onerous task of reforming the police. Are these the characters that will reform the Nigeria Police Force?”, the statement reads.