Buhari refuses to take dictation from state governors; rejects PDP-era bad habit on ministerial nomination process – Tola Adenle

May 10, 2015


To start this write-up. please permit me an illustration of how long I’ve seen the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) as a troubling body, here is a quotation from President Jonathan, A Defining Moment blogged on March 4, 2010 before the birth of this blog; I had the weekly essays column in The Nation on Sunday then, but I first submitted it to sahara Reporters; it would come up on multiple occasions later on the blog:


“Okay, Good Doctor, I was never a fan because of the way your principal walked on a carpet of blood of slain Nigerians to Aso Rock but I’ve since eaten my words about you never reaching the presidency from YOUR OLD POSITION … on your laps have been thrust an unusual opportunity: to remake Nigeria … confound those of us who naturally lump you with Alhaji Yar Adua (AYA). You have nothing to lose but a chance to go down as a great hero. Seize the time; ignore the so-called governors’ forum; YOU OWE THEM NOTHING. Tell yourself … that you will not run come next year but give Nigerians a good electoral reform and work on power … This is your time. No godfather put you there but Nigerians’ determined will … Do not worry about any political future because yours is now.”


In perhaps the first real test of the road Retired General Muhammadu Buhari wants his administration to take, he has said, ‘no thanks’ to the all-powerful Nigerian Governors’ Forum.

In one of the pervasions of the Constitutional provisions of separation of powers between the three arms of government, the PDP from Retired General Obasanjo’s (rGO) presidency, defaulted choosing of inisters, ambassadors … to governors who willingly submitted lists, a situation that governors across the country milked to the hilt.

Both sides apparently had a lot to gain from this hand-in-glove perhaps scratch-my-back-I’ll-scratch-your-back but one thing was apparent:  most nominees for these offices from rGO through Yar Adua to Jonathan were less than the best available.

It it is heartening that Buhari is telling Nigerians he understands how he won the election and wants to be left alone concerning his constitutional duties, especially considering that many believe he just wants to rule Nigeria as president and would not be hands on in a sort of reign rather than rule.

I think state governors have enough work to do in their states without taking on non-constitutional roles.  We all remember too well their unconstitutional sad role during the Yar Adua saga.  In The Nation on Sunday on March 21, 2010, my essay – Nigerian Governors’ Forum – NGF – a political none-entity – reflected the collective frustration of Nigerians over this sad role of the so-called Nigerian Governors’ Forum:

These power grabbers, atop which sits, comfortably laughing at the rest of Nigeria citizenry, is Bukola Saraki, who has, by sheer will power and the backing of perhaps Nigeria’s first political godfather – his father – continued to muscle his way up the ladder of a “crime syndicate” to quote a letter writer, “masquerading as a nation”. The ambitious Bukola Saraki – who, if not by law but by ethics, would never hold any public office for life in a normal country because of what his family-held bank did to bank depositors … Meanwhile, Nigerian masses are gasping for breath under the sheer weight of greed of their self-appointed overlords.

Here is my problem and that of the vast majority of Nigerians with the unconstitutional NGF:
to the rest of the world, an NGF indicates the ELECTED leaders of each state of a union and when all sorts of pronouncements and resolutions emanate from “all members” … the politically-civilized world would believe NGF-thinking must represent the will of the majority of the people. The world would understand their [NGF’s ] indignation at The Guardian and The Tribune for misrepresenting the NGF as being power grabbers.

“We intervened to protect our democracy”.  These power grabbers, most of whom not only believe in choosing their successors but in telling an Acting President to forget the presidency even when the Constitution stipulates Jonathan should have been sworn in by now, do not have Nigeria’s interest …

NGF members, what happened to the $2 billion released by Dr. Jonathan which Bukola Saraki announced would be utilized on infrastructure “during the dry season now before the rains come” …

The whole essay – Nigerian Governors’ Forum – NGF – a political none-entity – is piggy-backed with “Nigerians need ‘weep not’ on the present Nigerian Governors Forum brouhaha” which I wrote for this blog in May 2013. []  More essays on “Nigerian Governors’ Forum” would show if you input those words in the search box.

Of course a coalition enabled retid. General Buhari to ascend the presidency but that word is used in the wide political sense of a group that is a necessity in most forms of political arrangements.  Many in the coalition must have worked very hard at ensuring the retired General achieves his goal, which would also be the single goal of all of those hard workers.

In the end, though, THE NIGERIAN MASSES WANTED AND WANT BUHARI, and wherever there is a will, there will come a way.  The Nigerian majority IS Buhari’s first constituency, NOT his political collaborators.

Now, no one would suggest a president need never listen to any of the governors of states over which, as president, he leads as the country’s Number One leader but I believe it’s preposterous from acquired bad habits inherited from the rGO’s presidency for governors to have to dictate those the president should choose for his cabinet.  In the end, the president would be the one to answer for the effectiveness or lack of it of those he chooses to run the government with him.  Their glory through excellent work would be his; more so would be their failure.


SUNDAY, MAY 10, 2015.  09:20 p.m. [GMT]

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