Much Ado About Buhari’s Cabinet of Integrity


By Oji Odu

The recent disclosure by President Muhammadu Buhari that his new cabinet will be comprised of people of integrity, has rather elicited skepticism among not a few Nigerians on what to expect on the ‘Next Level’ promise of the government, bearing in mind what many perceive as failure on the part of those that ran the first four years of his administration.

President Buhari disclosed this at a dinner organised by the All Progressives Congress (APC) women and youths to celebrate his re-election. He acknowledged the vital role they played in his election victory, promising to appoint more women and youths in his second, while noting that he was still considering the older people with him

“I will not disappoint you. Our objectives are the same. We have to fix this country so that the next generation can have a country to be proud of. We are working very hard to get the infrastructure in place, the roads, the railways so that Nigerians will mind their own businesses.

“I assure you that I have listened to the representation made that my cabinet should include women and the youths. Don’t celebrate it yet; I said I have listened to some of the representation made here. Well, I myself, I’m considering some of the old people and I will protect my constituency too. But I will assure you that I will continue to have a team of people of integrity that are really concerned about Nigeria and Nigerians.”

Who are these people of integrity? Do Nigerians really know them? Have they been tested and proved to be such? Is the integrity which the President is referring to subject to his personal definition of the word which many have before now described him? Are these older people that he is considering people of integrity?

National Chairman of the Reformed All Progressives Congress(R-APC),  Buba Galadima, does not want President Buhari to keep deceiving Nigerians with claims to integrity. He said that both the President and the APC do not have that in their dictionary.

“I can’t see any integrity whatsoever on the side of Mr President. Which integrity? Somebody, who condones corrupt people around him? We know of his relatives  We know of his friends who were bankrupt before 2015. We know of his relatives who take N2, 000 transport from us to go to Kaduna, today they are multi-billionaires. They have assets all over the world. They have estates all over the world.  I can show anybody that wants to know. So the issue of integrity with this government is not an issue.

“Go to Daura GRA, those houses that look like you are in Dubai or you are in London or Beirut, are built by who? To whom do those properties belong. So please, I don’t want anybody, any APC man to talk to me about integrity. This will be the last time anybody will engage me in a debate will talk to me about integrity. I will take them to the marketplace.”

For Segun Sowunmi, public affairs analyst and spokesperson of the Atiku Campaign Organisation, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has zero integrity.

Sowunmi said this when he featured on a Channels TV programme
alongside Festus Keyamo, spokesman of the Buhari Re-election Campaign

However dismissing the Buhari’s anti-graft war, he said Nigeria’s economy “ran
into a slump because of the corruption under the Buhari-led

Sowunmi described the present administration under President
Muhammadu Buhari as having “zero integrity,” adding that “whatever arguments
they (the administration) have now about fixing the economy is laughable”.

“They say one thing in the morning, they do another. First, they said they
don’t even know the meaning of subsidy. Right now, they can’t explain to
us who is paying subsidy or who is appropriating it. Now we’re finding out
that $25 billion is somewhere lost within NNPC.

“All over the places where you turn, all the principal officers of this
government are just deep in sleaze, made worse, made totally worse, is
that they really have no care for any section of the country; When they
are not calling young people lazy, they are telling the women that their
position is just in the bedroom, whatever that meant.

“When they are supposed to be looking for ways to bring the nation
together, they are running a percentage that doesn’t even add up in
mathematics; 97 to 5. Worse is that they go all over the world shaming the whole country,
claiming that Nigeria is corrupt, even applauding other nations who call
us ‘fantastically corrupt’.”

In a chat with the Magazine, Peter Odobong, a Social commentator, said: “ Judging from the caliber of people that worked with the President during his first tenure, and who many Nigerians see as people of questionable characters judging from their utterances and allegations against them both financially and otherwise, including how he got his re-election, only President Buhari can define his integrity.

“ It will be a miracle if he appoints people with real integrity. How will he settle those who helped his re-election who are alleged to have dark clouds on their personalities? Even if he appoints those with integrity, will the system allow them to perform credibly without fear or favour? We hope integrity will not be hunting down the opposition and recovery of public funds which have translated to more hardship.”

Meanwhile, President Buhari has said that the last lap of his four years as Nigerian leader would be tough. He stated this when members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) gathered at the presidential villa to congratulate him on his victory during the last presidential election.

“My last lap of four years, I think it is going to be tough because people are being forgetful. That was why wherever I went, I reminded them of the campaign promise of our party, particularly security, as I kept on saying that you have to secure the country well and institutions.

“If you don’t secure the country, you can’t achieve anything no matter how many programmes you put in place. Secondly, on the economy, unemployment is a problem of this country as a whole. More than 60 per cent of the youths need to be kept busy. I realised that God heard our prayers.”

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