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COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi - Politics - Nairaland

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COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by Racoon(m): 6:29am On May 29
Saturday, May 29, 2021

By Farooq A. Kperogi

Twitter: @farooqkperogi

The appointment of my namesake, Major General Farouk Yahaya, as Chief of Army Staff to succeed the late Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru who died in a plane crash on May 21 is yet another tone-deaf but entirely predictable mismanagement of Nigeria’s diversity at a time it desperately needs to be cared for with deliberate symbolic nourishment. 

There is no question that General Yahaya is qualified for the job. His CV shows evidence of immense professional and academic preparedness for the position. But the alternatives to him are just as qualified, so this is never about competence for the job. It’s about symbolism and the politics of representation at a time of heightened national storm and stress.

Many people had hoped that the regime would appoint Major General Benjamin Ahanotu from Anambra State as Attahiru’s successor both to water the perishingly shriveling tree of national unity in the country and to pacify the Southeast whose sense of alienation in the last five years is resurrecting the ghost of Biafra secessionist agitation.  

Since Ahanotu is just as professionally & academically prepared as Yahaya is, a lot more would have been gained in symbolic and substantive terms if the regime had chosen to not appoint another Northern Muslim to succeed a northern Muslim who succeeded a previous northern Muslim.In no previous civilian administration has this ever happened.

Former President Shehu Shagari had ethnic and religious diversity in his choice of Chief of Army Staff. He started with Lieutenant General Ipoola Alani Akinrinade, then appointed Lieutenant General Gibson Jalo, and finally Lieutenant General Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi.

Although Obasanjo’s choices of Chief of Army Staff didn’t reflect religious diversity, they reflected regional and ethnic diversity. Goodluck Jonathan also chose only Christians from the South-South and the Southeast, which we condemned, but his security council was more broad-based than Buhari’s is.

Many well-placed northern politicians who are disturbed by the widening intensity of fissiparity in the Nigerian polity told me they intervened to ensure that the regime appointed someone other than a northern Muslim as Chief of Army Staff. One man told me he was part of a group that reached out to Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Muhammadu Buhari’s Chief of Staff, to persuade him to advise his boss to appoint Ahanotu or another qualified southerner as Chief of Army Staff.

Perhaps, that was where the group erred. Gambari has no powers to influence consequential policy decisions in this regime. A personage who is intimately familiar with the workings of the Presidential Villa told me a few days ago that Gambari was recently caught dozing off in the waiting room of Sabiu “Tunde” Yusuf, the 30-something-year-old cousin of Buhari’s who is also his special assistant. 

The man said the fact of Gambari drifting off in Yusuf’s waiting room was indicative of the extended minutes, perhaps hours, that he had been waiting for the young man. But, for me, it emblematizes Gambari’s powerlessness and lack of access to the man he is supposed to be Chief of Staff to.

As dramatic as this revelation was, it wasn’t shocking to me. I have always known that Sabiu “Tunde” Yusuf, whose highest work experience prior to joining his cousin’s government was a phone recharge card seller, is the real successor to Abba Kyari.

In my November 23, 2019 column titled “Government of Buhari’s Family, By His Family, and For His Family,” I described him as “one of the most powerful people in Nigeria today. He determines who sees and who doesn’t see Buhari. Only Mamman Daura and Abba Kyari can overrule him.”

I also pointed out in my May 16, 2020 column titled “Real Reason the Buhari Cabal Picked Gambari as CoS” that Gambari’s linguistic “handicap” in the Hausa language would ensure that he isn’t sufficiently close enough with Buhari to have any meaningful interpersonal relationship with him. That, I said, would whittle away the influence of his office.

A May 25, 2020 exclusive Daily Trust story titled “How Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Gambari facilitated removal of TCN boss” proved me right. “The Special Assistant to the President (President Secretariat), Sabi’u Yusuf, the same day, wrote a letter referenced PRES/65-I/COS/3/750, addressed to the CoS, Prof. Gambari, conveying Buhari’s approval of his earlier memo,” the story said.

So, unlike Abba Kyari who had a direct access to Buhari and whom Buhari said all ministers should meet if they wanted anything from him, Gambari has an intermediary between him and Buhari, and that intermediary is a blood relative of his planted there by Mamman Daura, his Trinity College, Dublin-educated nephew on whom he has always been emotionally and intellectually dependent. 

As I pointed out in my May 30, 2020 column titled, “Gambari: Embrace and Alienation of an Outsider on the Inside,” “The real Chief of Staff to Buhari is Sabi’u ‘Tunde’ Yusuf (of course, acting on Mamman Daura’s behalf) while Ibrahim Gambari is only the public face of the office with some legroom to do the most obvious official requirements of his job.”

I’ve gone to this length to rejig the reader’s memory just to make the case that anyone who wanted to influence the appointment of the new Chief of Army Staff should have gone to Mamman Daura who is the real, if unofficial, president of Nigeria. But Daura has a really retrograde and fossilized understanding of Nigeria’s ethnic and religious diversity.

Nonetheless, in case people who can influence Daura are reading this, he should be made self-aware that in moments such as Nigeria is going through now, even little symbolic acts of inclusion go a long way. At the twilight of his life, he has become the luckiest Nigerian alive. He has unofficial presidential powers without winning or rigging an election, staging a coup, or even being appointed. Even for the sake of his grand-children, he should snap out of his provincial cocoon and save the country from avoidable implosion.

Nigeria’s chance for continued existence going forward will be dependent on intentional symbolic gestures that nurture national cohesion. National cohesion doesn’t magically emerge out of thin air because people who are luxuriating in the decadent orbits of power facilely proclaim Nigeria’s unity to be “settled” and “non-negotiable.” Nation-building is never “settled”; it is always in a state of negotiation and renegotiation. 

Unity is not an article of faith to be internalized and accepted unquestioningly. It is consciously sowed, watered, and nourished by acts of kindness to the disadvantaged, by equity and justice to all, by consensus-building, by deliberate healing of the existential wounds that naturally emerge in our interactions as constituents of a common national space, and by acknowledging and working to cover our ethnic, religious, regional, and cultural fissures. The efforts will never be perfect or fool-proof but doing something about a problem is always better than complacency and smug self-satisfaction.

Most progressive Muslim northerners I know are embarrassed to no end by the extreme and unprecedented Arewaization of appointments in this regime. They are embarrassed and worried because the lopsidedness of the appointments invites unearned hate to innocent northerners who don’t materially benefit from them, line the pockets of a privileged few, and alienate our compatriots from the South. That’s not sustainable if we still want a country. 



https://www.farooqkperogi.com/2021/05/coas-appointment-as-missed-opportunity.html?m=1#.YLG88PgD-H0.twitter

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Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by Fahdiga1: 6:31am On May 29
Igbos are not begging for any appointment under this present Junta. This lifeless regime has already gone down as the worst in history of mankind so it is better he doesn't appoint any Igbo man to be part of his failures.

180 Likes 11 Shares

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by Racoon(m): 6:32am On May 29
"...National cohesion doesn’t magically emerge out of thin air because people who are luxuriating in the decadent orbits of power facilely proclaim Nigeria’s unity to be “settled” and “non-negotiable.” Nation-building is never “settled”; it is always in a state of negotiation and renegotiation.Unity is not an article of faith to be internalized and accepted unquestioningly.

It is consciously sowed, watered, and nourished by acts of kindness to the disadvantaged, by equity and justice to all, by consensus-building, by deliberate healing of the existential wounds that naturally emerge in our interactions as constituents of a common national space.

And by acknowledging and working to cover our ethnic, religious, regional, and cultural fissures. The efforts will never be perfect or fool-proof but doing something about a problem is always better than complacency and smug self-satisfaction...."

51 Likes 4 Shares

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by Racoon(m): 6:32am On May 29
I was not surprised that Buhari never bulge an inch even with the Col.Umar Dangiwa(Rtd) letter on his overt nepotism even warning him saying

"..All those who wish you and the country well must mince no words in warning you that Nigeria has become dangerously polarized and risk 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.

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 & destruction to Nigeria.....

https://www.google.com/amp/s/thenationonlineng.net/your-appointments-will-destroy-nigeria-col-umar-writes-buhari/amp/

41 Likes 5 Shares

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by helinues: 6:34am On May 29
It's not good for someone to surround himself with too much negative energy...

No positive messages from Farooq for years now apart from wailing, attacking and pull them down epistle...

1 Like 3 Shares

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by nedu666: 6:37am On May 29
No need crying over spilled milk. Talk from today reach tomorrow buhari will do what buhari wants to do. What is important is that if a power comes to the south, they should repay the favour by sacking all buhari appointees tenured or not, sack the entire supreme court, frustrate the senate. Generally treat Nigeria like u don't care just as buhari is doing

79 Likes 3 Shares

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by mushystuff: 6:37am On May 29
Buhari is who he is, no surprises.

6 Likes 2 Shares

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by Fahdiga1: 6:39am On May 29
helinues:
It's not good for someone to surround himself with too much negative energy...

No positive messages from Farooq for years now apart from wailing, attacking and pull them down epistle...
Trash. All his write ups are apt and true. Have you ever said any reasonable thing since you joined nairaland?

161 Likes 5 Shares

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by Grace001: 6:41am On May 29
All these talk won’t stop anything... Buhari is so determined

He became the president for 2 things. One of those things is to make sure that;

85% power and resources control is in the hand of northerners, so deal with it.

All this talk talk is a waste of time.

12 Likes 3 Shares

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by helinues: 6:43am On May 29
Fahdiga1:
Trash. All his write ups are apt and true. Have you ever said any reasonable thing since you joined nairaland?

Please stop quoting me.. That's not too hard
to ask.. There are thousands of other NL'S to engage with.

Thank you

4 Likes

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by Fahdiga1: 6:44am On May 29
helinues:


Please stop quoting me.. That's not too hard ask.. There are thousands of other NL'S to engage with.

Thank you
Another trash. Expect the canceller anytime soon

94 Likes 2 Shares

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by thundafire: 6:45am On May 29
Well said Farooq. Recharge card seller should be ready to cough out every dime wen the time comes. Buhari as we all know just a mannequin. The real president was dead by Covid-19. @helinues @Mannabbygrills @ngeneukwenu all of una shame to even una unborn generations,who sold der birthright for 30k

18 Likes 1 Share

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by authehighness: 6:46am On May 29
I even prefer gen yahaya to the Igbo gen ahanotu,in order to please his Fulani master will might end up being killed like chicken even more than what will witnessed in the hands of burutai

5 Likes

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by JavaScript9091: 6:55am On May 29
The president is deaf and not interested in keeping the country one
Start your real estate company. See this real estate website specifically designed for Nigeria real estate market
https://www.nairaland.com/6575328/why-need-real-estate-website

3 Likes

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by CaptainAyub: 7:07am On May 29
For those of us who are pro restructuring or outright division in the absence of the former,buhari and his nepotism is actually a blessing to our cause.

12 Likes 1 Share

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by KingZebedee(m): 7:09am On May 29
The nepotism is highly clear
Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by SilkyKolaSyrup(f): 7:10am On May 29
Buhari's/cohorts game is obvious
Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by Guyman02: 7:11am On May 29
It's a missed opportunity, how do we in all sincerity expect a section of the country to feel a sense of patriotism when they have been blatantly left off the security architecture, and everytime opportunity presents itself they are left out and jumped over to pick their juniors.
The worst part is some commenters here jubilate when our military kill their youths extrajudicialy for protesting against injustice or guarding their communities against herdsmen Bandits something out security agencies have failed to achieve.

If they ask to be voted for in National elections they are told to build bridges even when you can find their people living peacefully across almost every village in Nigeria.
Tension would have been doused if only the president appointed the IGP last time or the COAS so that when National security issues are being discussed the Igbos will have at least one representative, but it seems this Govt is more interested in trying to subjugate a section of the country and aggravate their anger so that they will react and security agents are sent in to kill without anyone questioning them even when they kill innocent people.

Walahi I am not impressed, Allah ya isa!

21 Likes 1 Share

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by GboyegaD(m): 7:11am On May 29
Hmm... yet, the southern governors are shouting constitutional review. Is that what we truly need first?

4 Likes

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by Weedhustler: 7:12am On May 29
Biafra or death.....zoo is gone!

6 Likes 2 Shares

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by BlessedNuel: 7:12am On May 29
Smh
Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by Nagxy12: 7:12am On May 29
Vzvv

1 Share

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by Koryc: 7:13am On May 29
Buhari is an irritating bigot.

4 Likes

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by thebosstrevor1: 7:13am On May 29
Trash article.

The head of the military is an igbo man.( delta)
The head of the army is from north east. ( zamfara)
The head of the navy is from the middle belt ( nassarawa)
The head of the airforce is from south west.( osun state)


Where is the nepotism?

We can all see the sentiment, contradictions and ignorance of the writer, an igbo man is already the head of the military, we should also give the head of the army to an igbo man, how will diversity and national unity work?

There are many tribes in Nigeria whose natives have never been in any significant position in Nigeria, why didn't he fight for them?

Ignorance is really a disease

3 Likes

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by nedu666: 7:13am On May 29
helinues:


Please stop quoting me.. That's not too hard ask.. There are thousands of other NL'S to engage with.

Thank you

If he quotes u what will you do? Online voltron

21 Likes

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by CaptainAyub: 7:13am On May 29
helinues:
It's not good for someone to surround himself with too much negative energy...

No positive messages from Farooq for years now apart from wailing, attacking and pull them down epistle...
Yoruba muslimumu defending his slave master,even on the indefensible

17 Likes

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by kollinz1234(m): 7:13am On May 29
Before a Fulani rules this country again, it would be after the disintegration of the country.

3 Likes

Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by liketerm: 7:13am On May 29
Why would buhari give such sensitive position to a tribe that did not originated from Nigeria, is ipob a tribe in Nigeria, let lamidi kanu give them such pisition.kperogi dey miss yarn
Re: COAS Appointment Is A Missed Opportunity For Unity - Farooq A. Kperogi by nony43(m): 7:13am On May 29
I really don't have a problem with his latest appointment of the army chief. If he had balanced the other appointments nobody would be saying stuff about the new army chief.

President Buhari lost a golden opportunity on his stand on terrorism by not sacking Pantami or even telling to step down until everything dies down but no Buahri is a terrorist.

Buhari will handle insecurity Osibanjo will handle the economy is the biggest scam sold Nigerians.

How we be discussing Cows and herds men for 6 years now. A country were the senate still discuss cows in this 21st century.

Remove Buhari today in GOVT insecurity will just fizzle out in months. Imagine how peaceful this country was during Yar Adua.

Long and short President Buhari is causing problems for the northerners wait until his tenure ends. He has thought a lot on how to be tribalistic and Nepotic.

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