Reno Omokri, the former special assistant on new media to the former president, Goodluck Jonathan, has written an article in defence of President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointments, which have been described as lopsided.
President Buhari has come in for harsh criticism over his appointments which have been mostly from the northern part of the country.
In his article titled, ‘As Buhari blazes the trail for merit’, Reno said appointments should be made strictly on merit and not based on religion or ethnicity, Vanguard reports.
He wrote: “As far as I am concerned, the President can appoint all his appointees from the same state as long as they are the best Nigeria has to offer.
“Nobody should complain about where Buhari’s appointees come from. What we should insist on is that they are appointed on the basis of merit and that at the end of 2019 they must bring home the cup by giving Nigerians good governance that will yield tangible democracy dividends.”
According to Omokri, the problem with Nigeria is the quota system and the principle of federal character, which are the root cause of corruption in the country.
“As long as ethnicity is the yardstick for admitting children into schools or recruiting adults into the civil service, we will never have a merit driven system and where we do not have a merit driven system, the end result will be corruption
“President Muhammadu Buhari means well in his anti corruption battle, but if a civil servant has to report to someone who is less qualified than him and who only got his position because of quota system or federal character, his morale would be low and he will not be committed and when opportunity presents itself to be corrupt, that civil servant will seize it and he will not feel sorry or guilty.
“As long as there is no level playing field in Nigeria, none of our anti corruption efforts will work. We will merely be cleaning rye discharge of mucous from our nose. There cannot be a successful anti-corruption war in the midst of social injustice,” he wrote.
Omokri noted that Nigerians are not corrupt by nature but it is the Nigerian system that is by nature corrupt and any system that is not built on merit cannot but be corrupt
He pointed out that so many groups in Nigeria feel alienated by the quota system and federal character.
“Merit is the way. No, I take that back. Merit is the ONLY way. And I thank God that we have a President with the foresight to base his appointments solely on merit.
“That is a beginning, now we must ensure that merit is also applied to admission into government schools and recruitments into the public service,” Omokri wrote.
A former governor of Anambra state, Dr. Chukwuemeka Ezeife, had earlier accused President Buhari of ruling like a dictator, saying his appointments suggests that the south-east is no longer wanted in Nigeria.
A former senator Anietie Okon had also expressed worry that the basic points that sustain Nigeria as one unified nation are in endangered by the lopsidedness and cavalier approach to the appointments Buhari is making.