Buhari’s Minister: Where Are These Nigerians?

August 17, 2015



It has been said that the greatest liabilities of any leader are men and the greatest assets are also men; that is both male and female. The credibility of any leader is first known by the kind of men and women he parades as his foot soldiers. Many leaders are been brought to disrepute because of the people they chose to work with them, while many leaders are been taken to limelight by virtue of human resources that made their first disciples.  As the clock ticks towards the first 100 days of the new Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, the major hurdle that he would have to jump tactfully and wisely is the choice of his ‘wise men’. Already,   PMB (as the president is now being referred to) has said that his ministers would be announced in September which incidentally marks its 100days in office. But what is the issue here?  Let us classify PMB’s ministerial choice into six categories; Buhari’s brand, the youths, the women, the technocrats, political class and need for balancing.

Buhari’s Brand

Your brand is not your name, logo or tagline. Your brand is a combination of emotions and facts about you. Buhari is a disciplined person with zero tolerance to graft. Even those who wont easily agree to this know that PMB is no non sense person when it comes to corruption. That is why his party beckoned on no less individual than his personality having discovered that the kind of person Nigeria needs at this cross road is a fearless man with relatively clean records. Apart from trying to make political capital of issues and for the purpose of propaganda, hardly would any of Nigerian politicians stand the personality of Buhari when it comes to  war against indiscipline.  He is such a man whose body language detests stealing; in fact many Nigerians agreed that the immediate past president is a ‘good’ man but actually surrounded himself with ‘bad’ people. Hence, this made it difficult for him to fight the cankerworm of corruption and needed to give way to the former military leader. With repackaged personality by perception experts, Buhari became a bride, and Nigerians set aside his past records of high handedness. PMB therefore needs men and women who share these same characteristics in this highly corrupt society.


The Young Minds

One major area the PMB was attacked during the campaign before the election was his age. One state governor almost published his obituary because the governor considered him too old to govern Nigeria. Infact the immediate past president is his 50s almost labelled himself a failure just to score political point using age. No thanks to past leaders who have always been recycled into different positions without much to show for it. One area the PMB must look into is the appointment of the youths to ministerial positions apart from the minister of youths! With the age of IT, the president needs young men and women below the age of 50 who can bring vibrancy to his government.


The Women

One of the seemly most difficult areas of choice for President Buhari is the choice of women. Nigeria Archive revealed that no woman was in his kitchen cabinet when he ruled as a military leader. The announcement of ‘no title’ of first lady sent some signals to Nigerians and women rights fighters are already in town. Buhari must note that there are women of impeccable character who can work with him and therefore should look inward and bring them out especially           `now that the world is tending towards ‘affirmative action’.


The Technocrats

Choosing ministers from the private sector, the academic and from Nigerians in Diaspora will definitely bring credibility to Buhari’s government. Nigerians from this category have proved to be dependable in the past before they were rubbished by the ‘political hawks’. Nigerians, indeed the world would be expecting the president to strongly consider this class of people who will as a matter of fact deliver the key campaign promises. PMB badly needs them.


The Political Class

The most dangerous people PMB needs in his government are the politicians. As dangerous as they are, he needs them! The only caution is that, he must tread softly. What nearly unsettled the National Assembly few months back is the merchandise of the Nigerians political class. To say he will do without them is to commit political suicide; even if he is not interested in the second tenure.

The Balancing

Geo political balancing should not be a challenge to PMB as a former leader; but readers of mind are thinking something funny. The pattern of voting in the last election and what played out in the National Assembly really sent some messages rightly or wrongly. Balancing is a constitutional matter so must be carried out to letter if Buhari wants to be truly Nigerian leader with all the meaning that connotation carries. A lean cabinet during this economic quagmire in the nation’s history is advisable; but geo political balancing is a tall order!

"Sola Oluwadare, a public policy analyst, is the Communications Manager, African Heritage Institution."


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