By Idoko Ainoko
To say that Nigeria remains the best place on earth is no longer news. Despite all the conspiracies against her as a nation, Nigeria has continued to defeat her adversaries without going to war. So, many things naturally work out positively for the country even without the citizens ever knowing. Quote me right or wrong; Nigeria is God’s own country on earth. I will therefore attempt to reveal the secret in this piece.
It is very easy to know the enemies of Nigeria. Though most times, they conceal their identities, but tacitly expose it through actions and words. Persistently, these enemies of Nigeria unleash vitriols on public servants who have demonstrated hard work and a favourable disposition to the new order as enunciated by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Therefore, these foes of Nigeria fabricate assorted tales, lies and falsehood to kick them out of office. They seek attention through the fake garments of patriotism and hide under fake public interest, but scheme behind the curtains to pull down Nigeria.
There is inconsequential, but distractive noise from infinitesimal quarters about tenure elongation of the incumbent Service Chiefs by President Buhari. For some Nigerians, it has become a favorite past time. Those pushing the senseless campaigns have irrationally refused to recognize that it is the sacred prerogative of Mr. President to either extend the tenure or sack his Service Chiefs.
This league of remonstrators easily forgets that nowhere in the whole world, a President is publicly stampeded into changing his Service Chiefs. Most times, Nigerians abuse the liberties offered by democracy. Because of a mindset fixated on evil, those objecting the Presidential decision fail to acknowledge their limitations and decode the lawful powers of Mr. President on matters of such magnitude.
With such freeness of the mind and careless meddlesomeness, even those who can hardly run effective families come out to dictate to the President on such exclusive matters. But this is what happens in a country where some people do not know their limitations. Let them be informed that the service duration of his Service Chiefs is outside their purview of interrogation in whatever guise.
The campaigners for the sack of our patriotic Service Chiefs are Nigeria’s greatest enemies and allies of external forces which have been plotting to destabilize and destroy the country. It defeats sound logic why some people should decide to mount such propaganda at such an auspicious time, when the country is facing very serious emergency security problems. It is diversionary and in bad taste.
Every patriotic Nigerian knows it is wrong and unacceptable to distract the unrelenting Service Chiefs with such partisan and meaningless noise. Nigerians of good conscience are aware that this is the time to allow the Service Chiefs the grace and peace of mind to concentrate on delivering Nigeria from the clutches of insurgents, terrorists, armed bandits, militancy and other assemblage of armed criminals.
However, the spoilers and destroyers of Nigeria are thinking differently. They are sounding as if President Buhari has done an unpardonable thing by extending the tenure of his Service Chiefs. Or Mr. President has committed an abomination by sticking to his hardworking and tested Service Chiefs. They posture as if this is the first time, that President Buhari has renewed the tenure of national appointees and therefore, it is “illegal” and should not stand.
It is unfortunate that some Nigerians have cultivated the habit of depriving themselves of truth. The seed of truth and honesty has deserted most hearts in Nigeria. And it is the compelling force for the very unreasonable and malicious excuses in protesting the continuous stewardship of the Service Chiefs.
These same people never protested when President Buhari extended the tenure of his other appointees before now. May be, those who benefitted from the presidential gesture appealed to their ethnic, religious, partisan, regional or sectional proclivities. Or, such renewed appointments pandered to the personal interests of the community of opposers against the Service Chiefs. This is precisely where the lacuna deepens and runs contrary to logic.
What did the campaigners against Service Chiefs say when President Buhari extended the service of the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Dr. Godwin Emefiele? The President inherited the boss of the apex bank from his predecessor, but renewed his tenure when it expired last year. But the professional opposers and emergency activists lost their voice. They rather hailed Mr. President.
In 2018, the President also approved the extension of the tenure of seven retiring Permanent Secretaries in the Federal Civil Service for one calendar year. But nobody raised eyebrows. And according to Mr. President, it was to ensure stability in the Federal Civil Service and sustained effective delivery on the nine priority areas of the administration.
The President has reappointed many of his ministers, but no discordant voices were heard. The likes of Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; Chief Rotimi Amaechi; Barr. Babatunde Fashola ; Dr. Chris Ngige; Alhaji Adamu Adamu; Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Dr. Osagie Ehanire; Alhaji Sirika Hadi; Hajiya Zainab Ahmed and Barr. Abubakar Malami among hordes of others are beneficiaries. Why did the Senate fail to reject them at the point of screening?
No one kicked against it. And in all instances of service extension or reappointment, the President is motivated by the service records of excellence by the beneficiaries. It is Mr. President’s style of appreciating the dictum, “service begets service.” It implies that their performance has impressed Mr. President and aligns with the effective service delivery on the priority areas of the administration.
And the leading propagandists against the tenure extension of Service Chiefs have forgotten so soon that in 2018, President Buhari also extended the tenures of numerous other federal appointees. These included; Dr. Jafaru Alunua Momoh, the Chief Medical Director, National Hospital Abuja; Prof. Eli Jidere Bala, the Director-General, Energy Commission of Nigeria; Dr. Boboye Olayemi, Chief Corps Marshall, Federal Road Safety Commission; Dr. Nwadinigwe Cajetan Uwatoronye, Chief Medical Director, National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu state and Dr. Mohammed Jibrin, Director-General, National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI).
There are many others who have benefited from this presidential favour under the Buhari Presidency. Many Presidential aides have also enjoyed service extension. And the common denominator or defining yardstick is that they have performed exceedingly impressive. But when a people embrace mendacity, everything is personalized, even when it runs against the spirit of public interest.
So, what’s the heck about the issue of Service Chiefs? What is good for the goose should certainly be good for the gender and justifiably too, particularly that the Service Chiefs have performed creditably. And many Nigerians are convinced and can attest to it; except those whose hearts are steeped in biases. Let’s not cry foul when there is none or raise any alarm where there is no cause for it. The Service Chiefs have done well and need to be supported and encouraged to go the proverbial extra-mile.
Ainoko is a public affairs analyst based in Kaduna.