Iyoha John Darlington
In the historic run-up to the 2015 general elections in Nigeria, the then opposition and now the ruling party of Africa's largest economy and biggest democracy , the All Progressives Congress ( APC ) adopted a campaign strategy for ''change'' and driven by this slogan the party 'trounced' the former ruling Peoples' Democratic Party ( PDP ) at the polls and Muhammadu Buhari who had thrice contested the highest office in the land and lost under the platform of the defunct Congress For Progressive Change emerged victor and President after the historic merger in a hotly contested election that almost put the country on the brink.
No sooner had he got down to business than he started his anti-graft war thus putting himself forward for praise or accolades in some parts of the country and beyond because some Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora saw the former ruling party - the Peoples' Democratic Party ( PDP ) as ''one vast empire of corruption'' although many seem to exonerate the former President Goodluck Jonathan from blame who they opined was frustrated out of office by formidable forces averse to his declaration to run for a second term as president especially the predominantly Muslim north. Ironically, many of the country's politicians today in the ruling party who ''cross-carpeted'' from the former ruling party and claimed to be fighting corruption have been indicted and fingered in corrupt practices at various points in time together with President Buhari back in 1977 when he was the country's Minister of Petroleum Resources.
President Buhari, a Fulani Muslim of northern Nigerian extraction, some Nigerians believe, is a man of complete integrity (?) which partly informed their interest and desire to vote for him especially when the electorate thought the country was desirous of a change after the ''prodigal years of PDP's misrule''. And the only one history apparently beckoned on to cleanse the Augean Stables was none other than the former military ruler who, reports say, unsuccessfully fought corruption in the past when he ruled the country some 32 years ago.
President Muhammadu Buhari
Three months after his inauguration he is yet to name his cabinet and this has sparked off maddening impatience, ill-feelings and widespread condemnation across the country even by the rank and file of the All Progressives Congress. This is more so considering the appointments he has made to key and sensitive positions in the country. Out of the appointments he has made over 35 have been zoned to the north. The south-east geopolitical zone has not had any appointment so far which has given birth to separatist feelings and aspirations thus renewing the agitation and call for the actualization of the sovereign state of Biafra.
However, it would be recalled that between 1967 and 1970, Nigeria fought a fratricidal civil war following the pogrom against the Igbo people from the south-east geopolitical zone. That war ended with no victor or vanquished although it succeeded in reuniting the reactionary Biafran secessionists with the federation of Nigeria in the Gowonist days.
Nearly 100 days after he had been sworn in all appears not well with Africa's biggest democracy. It is being circulated through the grapevine that many Nigerians are expressing disgust at his lopsidedness and witch-hunting of the opposition. Many of his partisans, most of whom are former governors that have been implicated in high-profile stealing are yet to be indicted or charged calling to mind the Aregbesolas' show of shame recently at the airport of Lagos. In the area of appointments, many Nigerians say the country's president is apparently running 'a one-man show' by appointing people from his region, a poignant reminder of nepotism at worst in sheer disregard of the constitutional provisions and this portends and poses nothing but grave danger to the country's fragile unity.
There is no denying the fact that nepotism an offshoot of corruption has featured distinctively in the selection and appointments the President has made so far. This calls his avowed desire in question to root out this social malady from Africa's most populous country, south of the Sahara. However, if this desire is anything to go by the fight against corruption in Nigeria must be all-inclusive as opposed to the ongoing selective prosecution by the Abuja regime. Another contentious issue Nigerians have seemingly lost sight of is the sudden disappearance of a whopping $2.8bn from the state-owned oil corporation (NNPC) account traced to Midland Bank years ago in the UK under Buhari's stewardship. While prosecuting the on-going anti-graft war, this crying puzzle must be demystified or explained in line with a verse in the Holy Writ ''first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye''. Anything short of this, I dare say, is tantamount to hypocrisy.
Iyoha John Darlington is a scholar based in Turin, Italy's northern uplands.