I have watched with great misgivings, the gale of rushed appointments, undertaken by the outgoing administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, instead of focusing on his transition programmes. At the last count, a new managing director has been appointed for the Nigerian Ports Authority, new leaders have been appointed for the Securities and Exchange Commission, federal commissioners have been appointed and there seems to be no end to the desire of the outgoing regime to compensate its supporters and cronies with juicy appointments. And these appointments are very critical indeed.
The present administration has barely one month to hand over to another administration, to which it has conceded defeat in the recent elections. That being the case, all these ‘midnight’ appointments run counter to the open declaration of President Jonathan, to create a level-playing ground for the incoming administration.
On the one hand, the President declined to assent to the Bill on vital constitutional amendments, he did nothing to harmonise his position with that of the National Assembly, for the benefit of Nigerians, resulting into a colossal waste of money, energy and human ideas. Instead, the President filed a suit in court and even sought an order of injunction, as a means of consolidating his position, to the detriment of Nigerians.
One of the reasons given by the President was that he did not want to hinder the smooth administration of the incoming government or be part of a process that may whittle down presidential powers.
So, how do we then reconcile this with the President’s gale of these new appointments, into very critical sectors of the Nigerian economy? I urge the President to forthwith stop further appointments or termination of appointments and face squarely the business of handing over. If indeed the President is zealous to function and perform, then let him channel his new found energy, on finding the Chibok girls, let him rescue our citizens from the xenophobic attacks in South Africa, let him secure the release of some innocent Nigerians from the clutches of death, in Indonesia and other Afro-Asian countries, let the President end the fuel scarcity that is currently crippling businesses and human and vehicular movement and give us electricity, even for this one month.
The impression that I get from these belated appointments, is that the President is trying to cripple or at best, tie the hands of the incoming administration, which is totally unacceptable.
Nigerians have voted for Buhari, and he should be allowed free space to determine those that he would love to work with.
*Adegboruwa is Lawyer and Managing Partner, Adegboruwa & Co based in Lagos.