A retired army Colonel, Dangiwa Umar has hit President Muhammadu Buhari and his administration for ignoring the sentiments of other Nigerians in his appointment of people into key offices.

The retired army officer known for his fearless stand on national issues gave the attack on Buhari’s government through a letter he wrote to the president and made available to journalists.

In the latter, dated 30 May, 2020, Col. Umar also advised Buhari, to use the remaining three years of his second term to act in manners that would preserve his name in history by putting right the skewed appointments that have characterised his tenure, adding that nepotism is “is more glaring in the leadership cadre of our security services.”

Col. Umar therefore asked Buhari to learn from the great acts of exemplary leadership which, at critical moments, managed to pull this nation back from the precipice and assured its continued existence.

“In February, 1965, the NPC-led Federal Government was faced with a decision to appoint a successor to the outgoing Nigerian Army General Officer Commanding (GOC), General Welby Everard, a Briton. Four most senior officers were nominated; namely, Brigadiers Aguiyi Ironsi, Ogundipe, Ademulegun and Maimalari. The first three were senior to Maimalari but he was deemed to be more qualified due to his superior commission. He was the first Sandhurst Regular trained officer in the Nigerian Army. His being a Muslim Northerner like the Minister of Defense, Alhaji Muhammadu Ribadu and the Prime Minister, Alhaji Abubakar Tafawa Balewa granted him added advantage by today’s standards. But to the surprise of even the Igbo, and opposition from some senior NPC members, Minister Ribadu recommended Ironsi, pointing to his seniority. The Prime Minister concurred and Aguiyi Ironsi was confirmed as the first indigenous GOC of the Nigerian Army,” he said, adding that the scenarios is quite different under Buhari

“Mr. President, I regret that there are no kind or gentle words to tell you that your skewed appointments into the offices of the federal government, favoring some and frustrating others, shall bring ruin and destruction to this nation.

“At this time and in the light of all that have happened since you took office, any conversation with you Mr. President cannot gloss over the chaos that has overtaken appointments into government offices in your administration…Nigeria has become dangerously polarized and risks sliding into crisis on account of your administration’s lopsided appointments which continues to give undue preference to some sections of the country over others,” he wrote.

Continuing, he said, Umar added: “Mr. President, you have often expressed the hope that history will be kind to you. It is within your competence to write that history. But you have less than three years in which to do it. You may wish to note that any authentic history must be devoid of myth. It will be a true, factual rendition of the record of your performance.”


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