The Presidency in reaction to an allegation says President Muhammadu Buhari cannot be caged by any group or individual and neither is he pursuing any northern agenda
CONTRARY to the impression in certain quarters, President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, July 12, declared, that he was not caged by any group or individuals and that he was in firm control of the Presidency and the country.
President Buhari was actually reacting to an assertion by Tony Nyiam, a retired colonel, who in an interview with a national newspaper, had alleged that the president was caged by some powerful forces around him who now dictate and determine most of his decisions, especially on political appointments. But Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, in a statement said though individuals were entitled to their opinions, the comments credited to Nyiam were not true. He said if Nyiam could admit to have a vast knowledge and workings of President Buhari in the past and also spotted his impeccability, he should be in a better position to tell other people that the president could not change.
Adesina’s statement said in part: “Everyone in Nigeria knows President Buhari. He had been a Head of State and we saw how he dealt with corruption and even now, he is not relenting. As a matter of fact, he made corruption the chief issue among his campaign promises and he is dealing with that.
“Besides, he has said right from his swearing in that he belongs to no one but everyone. Why would he now change? And don’t forget that the president before he was elected, ran for the same office three times. So, would he win and then give his presidency to someone else to run for him?”
Besides, he said that the president had no northern agenda as insinuated by Nyiam. “Look, Nigerians needed change and they have got that by voting President Buhari to power. He has a national agenda because he was voted for by all Nigerians,” Adesina added.
Nyiam was quoted as saying that some of the appointments of the president were lopsided. He said: “The recent appointments we have seen so far suggest that President Buhari is being misguided and being pushed to be very partial. He has made critical appointments in three critical areas. One is the accountant general of the Federation, the director of DPR and the acting INEC chairman. These three critical appointments and of course that of the Chief of Staff are all coming from the same zone.
“There is also that of the director general of the DSS, Daura. Not only is he a man that has been in retirement, he is directly from the president’s town. If Jonathan had done the same thing by appointing the director of the DPR and the accountant general from the South-South, people would have raised hell.
“You must remember that the accountant general took over from someone from the South-West, Otulana. Why couldn’t Buhari appoint a south westerner, at least as a gesture to the South-West for the support they gave him. The DPR director was an Igbo chap. I think these appointments are clearly indicative that the President has not been allowed to follow his principle that he belongs to everyone.
“President Buhari is a man I served with, he is a man who is a true Nigerian; he is a man who is a true man of God. What I am suggesting is that he appears increasingly and gradually being caged by irredentists who are going to spoil his chances of becoming the Mandela of Nigeria.
“I have said it before that the closest analogue of Mandela in Nigeria is Buhari. But it does seem to me that some elements, some irredentists with agenda will not allow Nigeria benefit from such a figure.”
— Jul 13, 2015 @ 11:40 GMT