Saturday, November 5, 2011

How Nigeria is shared under Jonathan

Note: Writer makes at least one error: Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Finance & Economy is from Delta State in the South-South but as a person of Igbo origin, her position was zoned with the South-East geo-political zone in the selection of ministers. Ministers are appointed from 36 states plus FCT plus 6 geopolitical zones. Orubebe holds the Delta, South/South slot, not Okonjo-Iweala.

5 November 2011

BY CLIFFORD NDUJIHE, Deputy Political Editor

BEFORE independence and six years after, Nigeria used to be a true federal state where the federating units contributed to the well-being of the centre or Federal Government. The federating units were economically strong and vibrant and the centre depended on them for survival.

Practically, there was little or nothing to be shared at the centre. Some founders preferred service at the regional level than at the centre. It was thus easier for the former Premier of Northern Region, late Sir Ahmadu Bello to choose to remain as a premier in the North and ‘send’ his lieutenants to the centre.

However, long years of misrule kick-started by the military in 1966 during which leaders got fatter at the expense of the citizenry has reduced Nigeria to ‘a national cake’ meant to be shared. Ever since, there has always been a rat-race among the elite in the six geo-political zones of the country to grab the lion’s share of the ‘cake’ in terms of appointments.

Given the plurarity and diversity of the country, the law books provide for equity and representativeness (federal character) in how the appointments should be distributed (shared).

A peep into appointments made by President Goodluck Jonathan and others he inherited reveals shocking discoveries: there is inequity in the sharing of positions; the South-West and North-East geo-political zones have no one among the 10 top positions in the country; out of 154 top slots, women only account for 21 or 13.64 per cent; the North-West commands the lion share; and overall, the South-East geo-political trails the other five zones.

Read on for a list of the current office-hoders ...

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