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Reno Omokri Lauds Buhari’s Appointments | Says Selections were Impartial

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Reno Omokri - Bella Naija

Reno Omokri, Former special assistant on new media to ex president Goodluck Jonathan, is praising the appointments President Buhari has made so far, stating that contrary to dissenting opinions, his decisions were not tribalistic.

He expressed this view in an article published by Vanguard:

Recently there was a big uproar about the appointments made by President Buhari. I disagreed with those who complained that the President’s appointment were lopsided.

Appointments should not be made on the basis of ethnicity, region or religion.Appointments should be made strictly on merit!

As far as I am concerned, the President can appoint all his appointees from the same state as long as they are the best Nigeria has to offer.

In 2013, Nigeria won the Africa Cup of Nations. That victory was only possible because we selected our best players.

A large proportion of the squad were from the Southeast and Southsouth including Vincent Enyeama, Austin Ejide, Chigozie Agbim, Joseph Yobo, Elderson Echiejile, Kenneth Omuero, Efe Ambrose, Azubuike Egwuekwe, Godfrey Oboabona, Mikel Obi, Reuben Gabriel, Nosa Igiebor, Obiora Nwankwo, Brown Ideye, Ogenyi Onazi, while Ejike Uzoenyi, Victor Moses, Ikechukwu Uche, Sunday Mba and Emmanuel Emenike.

Nobody complained that this squad was lopsided because we knew these were our best and if we wanted to win we had to present our best. At the end of the day they brought home the cup and that was all that mattered.

In the same vein, nobody should complain about where Buhari’s appointees come from. What we should insist on is that they are appointed on the basis of merit and that at the end of 2019 they must bring home the cup by giving Nigerians good governance that will yield tangible democracy dividends.

Nigerians are always quick to say the problem with Nigeria is corruption, but I am not so sure it is.

Corruption is a symptom of the problem but it in itself is not the problem.

Corruption is the catarrh coming out of Nigeria’s nose. If you experience catarrh you do not treat it by merely cleaning your nose. The discharge will just keep coming because you are treating the symptom not the cause.

The way to treat catarrh is by treating its root cause which is the common cold.

What is the common cold that is causing the discharge of mucous from Nigerians nose?

In my humble opinion, it is quota system and the principle of federal character.

Federal character and quota system are the root cause of corruption in Nigeria.

As long as ethnicity is the yardstick for admitting children into schools or recruiting adults into the civil service,  we will never have a merit driven system and where we do not have a merit driven system, the end result will be corruption.

President Muhammadu Buhari means well in his anti corruption battle, but if a civil servant has to report to someone who is less qualified than him and who only got his position because of quota system or federal character, his morale would be low and he will not be committed and when opportunity presents itself to be corrupt, that civil servant will seize it and he will not feel sorry or guilty.

As long as there is no level playing field in Nigeria, none of our anti corruption efforts will work. We will merely be cleaning rye discharge of mucous from our nose. There cannot be a successful anti corruption war in the midst of social injustice.

Nigerians are not by nature correct. It is the Nigerian system that is by nature corrupt.

The other day the Federal Ministry of Education released cut off marks for unity schools and the cut off Mark for one state is 138 out of 200 while the cut off mark for another state is 4 out of 200.

This is not a joke! This is a reality in modern day Nigeria in the year 2015 and I kid you not!

Right there and then Nigeria has planted the seed of corruption in the heart of the child from the 138/200 state and the seed of entitlement in the heart of the child from the 4/200 state.

Any system that is not built on merit cannot but be corrupt. It is a fact of life and those who do not like this inconvenient truth can get as angry as they like with me and people like me, but that will not change the truth.

Whether we like to say it or not or whether we choose to pretend it does not exist, the truth remains that so many groups in Nigeria feel alienated by quota system and federal character.

We have grand plans as a nation of being amongst the top 20 biggest economies of the world by 2020, but which of the countries amongst the current top 20 economies has a system like ours?

The answer is none.

The G 7 nations of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States along with their partner nations of China and Russia are constantly competing with each other in the areas of early childhood to high school education.

If the educational pass rates of children in America is slipping when compared to that of other nations in the G-7, it will become a major electoral issue.

The influential Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) releases a regular triennial study of global education systems and these nations keenly compete to outdo each other in these rankings.

Now, how can Nigeria expect to join their ranks and compete internationally when we do not even allow fair competition domestically?

Are we going to write a letter to the G-7 or the OECD telling them that is not fair to expect us to compete with them and ask them to lower the standards for us?

I don’t think so!

Merit is the way. No, I take that back. Merit is the ONLY way. And I thank God that we have a President with the foresight to base his appointments solely on merit.

That is a beginning, now we must ensure that merit is also applied to admission into government schools and recruitments into the public service.

24 Comments

  1. ada

    September 8, 2015 at 11:32 am

    I agree

  2. Amazeballs

    September 8, 2015 at 11:55 am

    RENO OMOKRI for PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!

    • Iris

      September 8, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      Not yet please. Thanks.

  3. Ruby

    September 8, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    OMG! 138/200 vs 4/200
    Federal Character has injured me gan several times with regards scholarships for Masters.
    If Oga at the top is saying his appointments are based on merit- that is very good BUT when it comes to scholarships, recruitments, admissions etc let it also be merit based.
    I totally agree with Reno 100%

  4. Taipan

    September 8, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    e be like say you no well.

  5. Funmi

    September 8, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    You spoke well my brother God bless you. We need people like you to enlighten us.

    • lol

      September 8, 2015 at 2:29 pm

      Yes o Mrs A!

  6. Nne

    September 8, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    You are absolutely correct.

  7. Commenting on the news

    September 8, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    Couldn’t disagree more. Haba are you looking for position? Please give everyone a break and stop talking nonsense. I believe TRUST is the key and no one in the population (after what has gone before) has any trust in one clan lording it over the rest.
    Nigeria is an innate tribal country. There is deep tribal distrust in-grained in the population. And thankfully there is know how across the country. Your football analogy is totally misplaced. Football no bi the same as politics. If you can’t play football you can’t be a footballer, However if you have no experience governing, you can be selected as a minister. Now the criteria by which you are selected as minister is brought in question if everyone in that new political elite is from one or 2 clans.
    I believe a better analogy would be Affirmative action in the United States. There would have never been a Barack Obama without those policies so please don’t insult the remainder of the population.
    In a system that isn’t tribalistic as Nigeria is, and where merit is a foregone conclusion your assertions would quite possibly not be brought into question. However we all know and accept that Nigeria is far from being #tribe neutral. Your article so totally forced me to look at the list of appointments and I thought, I don’t care about tribes but I know Nigeria is a highly tribal society so what on earth is he talking about? The list is far from complete. It seems President Buhari didn’t have a game plan for government while he was running, so he is still dithering on his choice of government. Nevertheless if you wish to send a message to the population that this is a Hausa/Fulani government. Believe me with a list like that you will leave no one in any doubt. I almost want to say #will the last Nigerian to leave the country #turn out the lights.
    Lets face it. Northern Nigerians believe they have a god given right to lord it over the rest of the country and that has given rise to distrust across the board. They do not have that right. No one does neither Yoruba, Ibo etc.
    The initial list (inexhaustive as it is) is wholly unrepresentative of a vast country of 173 million people (depending on whose figures you listen to).
    Many of the most entrepreneurial minds are based in the east and west everyone knows that (Not mentioning the likes of Aliku Dangote – a northerner- and others like him) so my advise would be to build trust first and stop trying to pretend that you are giving the jobs to the best in class while inputting your clans men in the #creamiest of positions of power.
    Bring the best minds in from across the tribal divide force them to work together at the table. Bring an interpreter in if need be. But #build TRUST.
    #STOP dithering name your government, the oil prices are waiting for no man. There is urgent need for a working government to take decisions, for organised policy, for the country to not stumble further into the abyss but to rise up and tackle the many challenges it faces.
    STOP issuing edits its not a military dictatorship. Start finding the people across the board who know what they are doing and put them in place and quickly.
    If that works properly then corruption will start wanning over time there may be hope that one day government appointees will be seen as other than the ruling class ammassing wealth while it can for its own clan/tribe. mind you no country in the world is free of political corruption but then there is corruption and CORRUPTION. Voila!! .

    • ElessarisEllendil

      September 8, 2015 at 7:01 pm

      You mean decrees right?? I disagree with your comment though, firstly what is trust??? has trust ever brought development? No what brings development are your taxes and Federal allocation, the day Federal allocation is withheld to any state complain! Until then face your Governors, they have their jobs too.

    • phoenixceleste

      September 8, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      That was quite incisive of you but I share the author’s view.we all voted for change so let’s try something different.the rot in the system is too crazy and thus,needs approaches like these.we need serious sanity in the system,PMB will deliver in sha Allah.it’s hightime we embraced…merit because the usual way have paid off.no country of the world gets there along ethnic,tribal and religious lines.

    • Kay Logic, Facts & Knowledge

      September 8, 2015 at 7:12 pm

      Your argument contains a lot of claims that are not facts yet you base your points on them.

      Football no bi the same as politics. If you can’t play football you can’t be a footballer, However if you have no experience governing, you can be selected as a minister ( examples?)

      I believe a better analogy would be Affirmative action in the United States. There would have never been a Barack Obama without those policies so please don’t insult the remainder of the population. (Was it a must for barack Obama to be President? Is he a good President because he is black or because of the policies he has pushed? D othose policies depend on a black president being in charge?)

      I don’t care about tribes but I know Nigeria is a highly tribal society so what on earth is he talking about ( How do you know? What does it mean to be a highly tribal society? Does it make sense to keep acting like a highly tribal society? Is being a tribal society set in stone, can Buhari not change it?)

      The initial list (inexhaustive as it is) is wholly unrepresentative of a vast country of 173 million people (depending on whose figures you listen to) (How is it unrepresentative? Is it a person’s tribe that best represents him, or his values?)

      Many of the most entrepreneurial minds are based in the east and west everyone knows that (Not mentioning the likes of Aliku Dangote – a northerner- and others like him) (NAH! What is the evidence that the most entrepreneurial minds are based in the SouthEast and SouthWest, or that they are not from other regions but living in the SE/SW? Give us NUMBERs and rigorous analysis)

      Bring the best minds in from across the tribal divide force them to work together at the table. Bring an interpreter in if need be. (Why bring together ppl that can’t work together instead of getting a group that can already work together and achieve Buhari’s aims?)

      Lets face it. Northern Nigerians believe they have a god given right to lord it over the rest of the country and that has given rise to distrust across the board. (EVIDENCE?)

      #STOP dithering name your government, the oil prices are waiting for no man. (Does the Nigerian government affect the world price of oil? it doesn’t. Ibe Kachikwu is in place already. )

      Start finding the people across the board who know what they are doing and put them in place and quickly.
      If that works properly then corruption will start wanning (is he not already doing this, by appointing great candidates? Or is a candidate not good enough if he is from the NW,North Central, SW, SS, and NE?)

      Also, how many of the people Buhari has appointed are from his own tribe? The closes t you can claim is Daura, DSS chief. Given what happened to Buhari and Rafindadi in 1985 I think it’s a great move to remove Ekpeyong who was a supporter of another regime

    • nnenne

      September 9, 2015 at 4:59 am

      @commenting on the news…
      Bringing affirmative action into this discussion is like comparing oranges and apples.
      How does the recipients of affirmative action in the USA compare to Nigerian citizens in the north?
      Black Americans , for example receive affirmative action because of their history… taken away from their homeland unwillingly, forced into servitude for years, later set free, no property, no culture, breakdown in family system and everything that goes with it from generation to generation.
      Northern Nigerians on the other hand, met the British colonial masters same time as the rest of us. When British, came no Nigeria native had their form of education. Everyone had to learn from the scratch. Then they left. The pogrom of 1966, civil war with loss of lives and property happened, South Easterners and South, South people were forced to stop school against their wish, for three years, not the North. Occasional Seasonal killings and displacement of the southerners continue to happen in the north (check the records if in doubt). Educational levels continues to be lowered for the north and they must use quota system to get jobs they otherwise would not have gotten. For what reasons again??
      Fifty five years after, the British left, we have a government being ran with majority of northern elites. What moral justification do you have to keep allowing people whose elites are running the government, because they are most qualified, lower admitting grades into our universities?
      If you are educated enough to produce all these elites, then I believe you should be able to make the same entrance grades as everyone else. You cannot use quota system when it suits you. You cannot have it your both ways.
      IF IT TAKES ALL NORTHERNERS TO RUN THE SYSTEM WELL, FINE. BUT IT ALSO MEANS WE DO NOT NEED QUOTA SYSTEM ANYMORE. MERITOCARCY ALLTHE WAY… IN GOVERNANCE, AS WELL AS IN UNIVERSITY ENTRANCE GRADES AND EMPLOYMENT!!!
      SHIKENA!

  8. Iris

    September 8, 2015 at 1:11 pm

    I don’t know…I wish I could take his opinion for what it seems to be on the surface. However, I so distrusted this guy and Reuben Abati during GEJ’s time that now I can’t help but think he’s just angling for some kind of appointment. I hope I’m wrong.

  9. Otrizzy

    September 8, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    Owo am so impressed with this write up .If people contain talking like this nigeria will definitely get there .

  10. O~Intuition!

    September 8, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    May Your worst critic(s) or supposed enem(ies) be your THE LEADER(S) Of your Cheering Team.

  11. nene+

    September 8, 2015 at 1:52 pm

    Reno I will only agree with you if Buhari had chosen the entire filled position from SE. NC, SS or SW

    Reno don’t be fooled! 97% and 5% is real!

    I will agree with you if you where referring to OBJ, Yaradua even Tinubu, but certainly not agadi *wu.ata alu like the sectional leader buhari!

    Can’t you understand?????

  12. Ernesto

    September 8, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    My brother Reno, you were very simplistic in your analysis as many Nigerians are wont to do. The question you raised is begin for an answer. “are they our first eleven?” I have always campaigned for merit and still do. But where is the proof that these guys merit their appointment? You can imagine The newly sworn-in Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, while reacting to criticisms of lopsidedness with their appointment said, “We did not have to pass examination to get appointed into these positions, not because of our tribes, or our faiths, or our political groups that we were considered worthy for these positions. “If it is such, I am sure none of us would have been considered worthy of these appointments. We appreciate the president and we appreciate God that he has blessed us with these privileged appointments,”

    Would you consider a man who merits his appointment and understands the enormity of that office in this economy to gush about being blessed with PRIVILEGED appointments?

  13. Ernesto

    September 8, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    It is even naive and wrong to compare football team with a government appointments. Playing football does not involve the deployment of resources or favouring one region or religion over the other. Football is mere entertainment and governance is not about entertainment. Let’s stop speaking from both sides of the mouth for speaking sake. Nigerians are smarter please.

  14. bezen

    September 8, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    “…the president can appoint all his appointee from the same state as long as there are the best Nigeria has to offer.” since wen did one state or the north outweigh the east, west and south south put together in no of well qualified technocrats? I read the whole thing and all I saw was reno using some kind of sarcasm to make a point in favour of the south.

  15. Noella

    September 8, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    CLAP FOR YOURSELF RENO..YOU JUST SENT IN YOUR RESUME JOSTLING FOR A POSITION WITH THE BUHARI GOVT..I GUESS YOUR COFFERS ARE RUNNING DRY FROM GEJ’S ADMINISTRATION….HOPING AGAINST HOPE THAT BUHARI WILL NOTICE YOU AND APPOINT U FOR SOMETHING…

  16. ogeAdiro

    September 8, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    This doesn’t make much sense to me. Simple logic would dictate that based on merit, the part of the country with cut-off marks of 138/200 will produce most of the appointees.
    I also disagree with the whole uniform cut-off marks deal. The reality of “One Nigeria” is that we are a bunch of different people, and if we are going to be successful as “One Nigeria”, then we have to carry everyone along. We have to be careful not to have a situation where a few groups are grossly under educated and impoverished. Because the wahala that comes from such situations usually affects us all eg. boko haram. If we start practicing merit-based exclusionism, then it would probably be in the best interest of Nigeria to split up as a country. Because exclusion almost never ends well.
    Not indictment of Buhari’s appointments. Don’t know enough about the appointments to have an opinion.

    • ElessarisEllendil

      September 8, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      Merit implies that the best will run the country to the best of their capabilities. You don’t take the class olodo to a quiz so he can feel among. If the best run the country well, we all benefit.

  17. Nugwa abu

    September 8, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    I believe Reno is trying to be sarcastic. He is being sarcastic all right. God bless Nigeria anyway.

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