A support group within the ruling All Progressives Congress APC, the Progressive Change Ambassadors of Nigeria (PCAN) has frowned at what it described as the lopsided nature of several appointments made by President Bola Tinubu since he assumed office on May 29.
The group made its position known in an open letter to the president dated September 19, 2023 and signed by its Executive Director Alhaji Abdulkareem Ubaydah and Secretary, Muhammad Rabiu Awwal.
The letter titled, “Imbalances in Appointments: This is not how to restore our hopes”, urged the president to go beyond his Yoruba ethnic group and run an all-inclusive government.
Part of the letter reads; “Congratulations once again Mr. President on your momentous victory in the February 25, 2023 Presidential election and the subsequent legal affirmation of your seismic victory by the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal PEPT just recently.
“Mr President, we write to you today as concerned citizens of Nigeria and deeply troubled members of your party – the All Progressives Congress APC to express our deep concern about the perceived imbalances in your political appointments so far.
“We have observed that a significant majority of these appointments have been made from your southwest geopolitical zone and especially from your ethnic group – the Yoruba, to the exclusion of other qualified and competent individuals from other parts of the country. This has led to widespread feelings of alienation and resentment among Nigerians from other parts of the country.
“While we understand that you are entitled to appoint people you trust and believe in, we as stakeholders in the political party under which you assumed office as President of Nigeria, reserve the right to urge you to consider the importance of national unity and inclusiveness in your appointments.
“It is important to remember always that you are the President of all Nigerians, not just that of Yorubas of the Southwest geopolitical zone. Your political appointments should therefore reflect the diversity of our nation and ensure that all Nigerians have a voice in your government.
“Unfortunately, your appointments to date have fallen far short of this standard. For instance, control of Nigeria’s economy has been ceded exclusively to South-west Yorubas as all appointments in that sector have been filled by them.
“Additionally, of 20 presidential aides appointed by you, 15 are from your geopolitical zone and ethnicity. Also, in the recent appointments of Presidential Senior Special Assistants and Special Assistants, 8 are Yorubas from the South-West! Also worthy of note are the facts that the Inspector General of Police, Controller General of Nigeria Customs and Comptroller General of Nigeria Immigration Service respectively, as well as the Chief of Army Staff are all members of your ethnic group.
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“These are clear imbalances which send a message that you are not committed to building a united and inclusive Nigeria.
“We need not remind you Mr. President, of the circumstances surrounding your election victory as the South-West, propagandized by divisive, faith-based political rhetoric of the opposition, seemingly abandoned you to your fate leaving the other geopolitical zones, especially the North-West and North-Central to do the heavy lifting needed, votes-wise, for your victory. Shunning them for those who stood by and did pitifully little is not how to reward their tremendous labour of love on behalf of your successful aspiration.
“We urge you to reconsider your approach to political appointments and to make a concerted effort to include people from all geopolitical zones in your government. This is essential for building trust and ensuring that all Nigerians feel represented in their government. This is the only way to ensure that all Nigerians have a fair chance to contribute to the development of our country and to live in a united and prosperous nation.
“One of the duties of the President is to ensure that the government is representative of the people. By appointing people from all geopolitical zones, you will be fulfilling this duty and living up to the oath you took as President. This is the only way to ensure that all Nigerians have a fair chance at contributing to the development of our country and to live in a united and prosperous nation.
“We hope you will give our concerns raised in this letter serious consideration and take action to address them”.