OPINION

NAVIGATING THE BORDERS OF OBJECTIVITY, REALISM, HYPOCRISY, EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL AND OVER ZEALOUSNESS – Dr Uche Diala

I deliberately decided to largely weigh in less on the brouhaha and issues raised concerning recent appointments especially by NASS leadership even before the major Next Level appointments are announced by the President.

However submissions I read from two respected commentators and Comrades Femi Animashaun and Afamefuna Chidume this morning prompted me to weigh in and try to put the issues in objective and proper context to the best of my understanding in attempt to guide the discourse.

First, the core issue here is that we’ve had a peculiar and uncommon situation on our hands since 2015 when PMB came on board and we must therefore approach these issues bearing that in mind. Or else we would not be realistic.

The idea of people holding very acerbic and unsavory views about the administration (not criticism) and inciting others to dissent, which most times are born out of less than altruistic motives and abusing rather than criticizing, all aimed at bringing the government down and inadvertently making it fail in its revolutionary mandate cannot be treated with kid’s gloves or with sentiments. It’s a real and present crisis.

This administration is anything but a normal one and the times are anything but normal. The experience of those who truly, sincerely, selflessly and passionately believe in this administration before and in the last four years and during the last elections are grossly unpalatable to write about and these can be traceable to certain individuals and groups within our polity.

It therefore becomes pertinent both practically and morally to deliberately check out and screen those who are assigned to play roles in the administration at all levels going forward, if we are to enhance the chances of actualizing or even furthering our goals in the next four years.

I bet if we didn’t have the traumatic experience in the last 4 years where Senator Bukola Saraki acted his ‘sarakonda’ movies right in front of our very eyes, thereby causing us four years of ‘go-slow’ and people who not only had no belief in the Buhari ideology or any fate in his administration but clearly had no interest in what we collectively fought for took over the administration, yet leaving us Buharists to do the thankless job for which they were well paid for, I’m not sure the present hyper alertness and scrutiny would have been necessary.

It’s for this reason that these same Buharists and other well-meaning Nigerians paid special attention to the Leadership of the 9th Assembly and it was accepted and welcome. Why then will these same people not have at least their say on what these leaders do with their mandate?

Furthermore, it is not in doubt that hard core PMB supporters, even if they be in the minority are made up of some of the smartest, very intelligent, well-educated and most patriotic Nigerians.

The question then arises, if the government can find all the hands it needs from among those core supporters and altruistic believers, why then look outside? That’s a cogent question. Isn’t it? No hypocrisy here.

If what is needed is competence, why not select from among them? Since they have competent ones among them. I’m not saying it must be me or anyone I know.

If the issue is reward, is it not even more equitable to reward this lot.
If the issue is to make an impression or a statement, is it not even more honorable and apt to make that statement with them to show others that if you truly believe in a noble cause and selflessly give your all for it, it is honorable and pays for the common good of all? We are not reinventing the wheel here.

The worry by most is that if the place is loaded with non-believers in the Cause as we had in the last 4 years, who will do the job?

Won’t we be left with our tails tucked in between our legs like before? If we look down the road and see what the next four years will be like, it’s not difficult to imagine that it’s going to be an even rougher ride.

I can therefore understand and excuse the anxiety and apprehension of core PMB supporters. I can vouch that most of them are not shouting for their personal benefit as they know they won’t get the call themselves.

They just want the ‘right’ people. That’s all. Therefore emotionally blackmailing them is most unfair and akin to adding insult to injury.

That said I will also not excuse the over zealousness or over exuberance of a few amongst us who are going berserk and overboard over this issue.

Let me say clearly that I’m not against recruiting or appointing critics if they have something to offer but critics are different from caustic, bitter and perennial naysayers which what many self-acclaimed critics have confused for criticism in the last couple of years.

That’s why I boldly and proudly stood against the appointment of Festus Adedayo. But I don’t have the same strong sentiments against Lara Wise. We must strive to treat every case on its own objective merit no matter the emotions.

That said, many people seem to not realize that in this era of social media, the art of verifying and authenticating people’s beliefs, principles and character has changed permanently and drastically.

That’s why the social media has now become a veritable tool for recruitment even in the workplace. Therefore one’s true beliefs, upbringing, character, capacity and motives can easily be deciphered from whatever one puts down on the social media.

If employers like me can use the social media to decide who to hire or not in our businesses and organizations, why not in public service which even has more widespread implications on the lives of many?

In conclusion, I think beyond all these, we all have a duty to rework the recruitment and reward systems and processes in our polity so as to ensure square pegs and put in square hopes both morally and in competence.

What we have today is defective and counterproductive and that’s part of the problem. If the administration was keenly and objectively keeping track these last four years, it won’t be in this seeming quagmire today of picking who and who fit in appropriately and where.

These are just my candid thoughts. In all I sincerely and humbly urge us all to tone down the rhetoric, be fair, polite and objective while I wish us all the best.

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