Tinubu’s Appointments Stir Ethnic Controversy

Tinubu’s Appointments Stir Ethnic Controversy

…HURIWA Demands Equity

The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has voiced serious concerns over what it perceives as entrenched bias against the Igbo ethnic group in President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s recent appointments. HURIWA’s analysis suggests a continuation of the “winner takes all” system, heavily favoring Tinubu’s Yoruba kinsmen while leaving other ethnic groups, notably the Igbo, underrepresented.

These concerns, according to HURIWA come to light amidst startling revelations by activist Deji Adeyanju, shedding light on what he terms pervasive ethnic bias within Tinubu’s administration. Adeyanju’s investigation reveals a troubling trend where the Yoruba governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Yemi Cardoso, reportedly replaced all directors with individuals from his own ethnic background, further exacerbating concerns over equitable representation and fairness in government appointments.

In a scathing statement released today, HURIWA highlighted a comprehensive analysis of President Tinubu’s recent appointments, revealing a disturbing trend of systemic favoritism towards his ethnic group. Key positions across various sectors appear disproportionately allocated to individuals of Yoruba descent, marginalizing other ethnic groups, particularly the Igbo community.

According to HURIWA’s analysis, over the past three months, approximately 75% of positions have been allocated to individuals of Yoruba descent, with the remaining 25% shared among other ethnic groups. “The trend persists across sectors such as the recent appointments in health, culture, creative economy, and maritime and blue economy, where the majority of appointments favor Tinubu’s Yoruba ethnic group.

“The recent appointments approved by President Bola Tinubu starkly illustrate the deep-seated marginalization of the Igbo ethnic group within key sectors of government. From the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to the Federal Ministry of Art, Culture, and Creative Economy, the overwhelming majority of appointments overwhelmingly favor individuals of Yoruba descent, further exacerbating the underrepresentation of the Igbo people.

“This pattern of exclusion extends even to strategic initiatives such as the Presidential ‘Unlocking Healthcare Value-Chain’ Initiative, where crucial leadership positions are allocated without due consideration for ethnic diversity, including the committee to implement Oronsanye’s report dominated by Yorubas

“The appointment of Executive Directors in agencies under the Federal Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy similarly reflects this trend, as individuals from the Yoruba ethnic group dominate key positions. These appointments not only perpetuate systemic inequality but also underscore the urgent need for President Tinubu to address the glaring disparity and embrace a more inclusive approach to governance,” HURIWA frowned.

Furthermore, HURIWA emphasized that such actions violate constitutional provisions aimed at promoting the federal character of Nigeria’s governance structure. Sections 14(3) and 147(3) of the 1999 Constitution expressly mandate that government appointments should reflect the diversity of Nigeria’s ethnic and cultural landscape, ensuring that no single ethnic group dominates decision-making processes.

“The implications of Tinubu’s ethnically biased appointments are deeply concerning, as they not only undermine the principles of fairness and inclusivity but also exacerbate ethnic tensions and sow seeds of division within Nigerian society. By perpetuating tribal favoritism, Tinubu risks further marginalizing minority ethnic groups and fueling resentment and distrust among different communities.

“By marginalizing the Igbo and other ethnic groups, President Tinubu risks alienating a significant portion of the population and perpetuating ethnic tensions. This deliberate exclusion could exacerbate existing grievances and fuel resentment, ultimately posing a threat to national stability and unity”.

While noting that the alleged bias in appointments may have stemmed from political calculations, particularly in light of the 2023 presidential elections, HURIWA asserted that no individual should prioritize political interests over the welfare and rights of all citizens. “As a leader, President Tinubu has a responsibility to govern with impartiality and fairness, regardless of electoral considerations.

Hence, HURIWA vehemently opposed Tinubu’s discriminatory practices and called on him to immediately rectify the imbalance in his appointments to ensure equitable representation of all ethnic groups in government. The organization warns that failure to address these concerns could have far-reaching consequences for Nigeria’s stability and unity, threatening the very foundation of its democratic institutions.

Additionally, HURIWA urged Tinubu to prioritize the principles of fairness, inclusivity, and unity in governance, reminding him of his responsibility to represent all Nigerians, regardless of ethnic background.

“As a leader entrusted with the responsibility of governing a diverse nation, Tinubu must prioritize the collective welfare of all Nigerians and ensure that no ethnic group is unjustly marginalized or excluded from the corridors of power,” HURIWA tasked.

In conclusion, HURIWA emphasized the importance of holding leaders accountable for their actions and ensuring that government appointments are based on merit and not ethnic affiliation. The organization reaffirmed its commitment to defending the rights of all Nigerians and called on Tinubu to take immediate steps to address the concerns raised regarding his administration’s appointments.

“President Tinubu’s actions have far-reaching implications not only for the current state of affairs but also for future generations. As Nigeria strives for progress and unity, it is imperative that its leaders adhere to the principles of fairness and inclusivity, respecting the diverse tapestry of cultures and ethnicities that make up the nation’s fabric. HURIWA stands firm in its commitment to defending the rights of all Nigerians and holding leaders accountable for their actions,” HURIWA concluded.

*Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko*.

National Coordinator,

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA)

March 9, 2024.

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