On Buhari’s appointment….I cause trouble

July 13, 2016 OPINION/NEWS

Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters



Prince Charles Dickson

I was driving the other day and decided to have communion with the radio in the car. After scanning several stations with a lack of interest in the programs on the menu, I was stuck with one in particular that had this youth-centric program.

While I listened to the anchors do a wonderful job, it was time for the musical interlude that caught my attention…a local singer, one of the many that array the musical horizon in Nigeria currently, was doing his thing, I struggled to pick a word of what it was he said, but his chorus got me glued;


Cause Trouble Cause Trouble

Ki Gbogbo Yin Koshi

Cause Trouble Cause Trouble

Ma Fo Anybody Loju

Cause Trouble Cause Trouble

Ki Gbogbo Yin Koshi

Cause Trouble Cause Trouble

Ma Fo Anybody Loju

Cause Trouble Cause Trouble


And indeed my intent in this admonition to fellow Nigerians is to help us ‘stop’ trouble.


So Buhari chased away the Jonathan appointed Inspector General (That’s not true, the dude’s time was up, he was due for retirement). Okay, but why replace him with a “Mallam”. They then sacked the management team of the Nigerian police and replaced them with “Mallams”, very few Southerners.

Did you read about the restructuring that took place in NNPCKachikwu was removed, amongst others too and again “Mallams” were used to replace them? But I hear that during the Jonathan era, it was a case of a hat wearing “Ijaw men everywhere. Are you aware that it is even now the Northern Nigeria Petroleum Corporation?

This President is sectional, an ethnic jingoist, a regional godfather. He is railroading Nigeria towards disintegration, as if that is not bad enough, his AREWA says that Nigeria is not negotiable, that is not true, in fact it is just a joke.

There is palpable tension, with his ilk; they are running the country aground. No, it is Jonathan that left us with this mess. Even the Yorubas that voted for him are not getting a bite of the cherry, how much more the Igbos that have been forgotten. The president said that he would give appointments based on number of votes, and those that have stood by him, those that he can vouch for.

Okay how about the Igbos that voted him, are “Mallams” the only people that can be vouched for. Why is it that the only people he can vouch for are from his own side of the hood?

I am sure you must have heard or seen, whichever applies that the entire nation’s security apparatchik is in the hands of a chosen few, the murmurings can be heard by the deaf.

And then my friend quips in, that what really is the nation’s problem, a Christian comes he favors his own, a Muslim comes he does the same, a Northern leader has his bias, likewise his Southern counterpart, but really do all these translate to Katsina being bigger contextual in economy than Onitsha, and with the exception of Tinubu, Fashola, and a few is Lagos, not better technically than…(let me not mention names, though I want to cause trouble).

Glaring in our faces is the fact that the Mallam will never sell spare parts, nor the Igbo man sell plastic rubber, the Yoruba man is a better mechanic, and why is it that we are structurally narrowed to WAZOBIA, when there are countless others, even the Ijaws, Nupes, Tivs, Beroms, etc, are not thought of in that construct.

The problem that is agitating our minds today is marginalization, even in the fight on corruption; it is the case, stealing without federal character, and catchment corruption. We have not resolved to exterminate it, but before we engage in a death struggle with it, we should be objective in our approach (because herein lies the problem).

There is rightly or wrongly ethnic distinction deeply rooted in us based on social attitude of prejudice. As deeply rooted as it is, it is not born in us as a people, it is acquired, it develops, and reacts on the emotionality of man so that he behaves unreasonably and unfairly.

Our problem as a people can be summed up in Professor H. A Miller’s words, “Prejudice is the bias of judgment that comes from either caprice or training. Caprice is individual and sporadic, and may sometimes be explained by psychoanalysis, and sometimes is too subtle to be accounted for. Trained prejudice is social and persistent.”

In Nigeria the language of marginalization has been prostituted as a result of our inert curse of leadership that is backward, primitive, uncouth, boisterous, and ignorant, thus rationalizing the myth of a “we” versus “them” in a bitter manner. We therefore by natural consequences created stereotypes of the Nigerian personality and character; we canonize a few, and make others menial beings.

The divide, which sadly is real, has been promoted by the docility and complaisance of an irresponsible intelligentsia, and throated down a gullible populace. So, Jonathan was of no real benefit to the South as it were, nor will Buhari have changed the lot of the Arewa man in Kebbi if no concerted effort is taken by local communities to rewrite their story of development.

The narratives and statistics are there with very little or no contestations, I need not remind us that pre-Boko Haram Borno was a cruel mixture of an elite class, and poverty breeding under the sleepy eye of government that cared less, and when the bomb detonated, it’s bang resonated in Kano, Yobe, Adamawa, Plateau, Kaduna…

Infrastructural development, good and accountable governance is devoid of who comes from where. Until we get that right we will always cause trouble when we don’t get the juice or we see that a section of the country seems to be getting the juice at our expense. This is one fact I believe Buhari does not understand in making these appointments, beyond all the dialogue of the deaf, get to work, touch the lives of the ordinary man such that he forgets where whoever comes from, and just maybe we could be on the right path.

Is Buhari causing trouble or on that path  –  Only time will tell.









Prince Charles Dickson

Currently Prince Charles, is based out of Jos, Plateau State, and conducts field research and investigations in the Middle Belt Region of Nigeria with an extensive reach out to the entire North and other parts. Prince Charles worked on projects for UN Women, Search for Common Ground, and International Crisis Group, among others. He is an alumnus of the University of Jos and the prestigious Humanitarian Academy at Harvard and Knight Center For Journalism, University of Texas at Austin. A doctoral candidate of Georgetown University

Born in Lagos State (South West Nigeria), Prince Charles is proud of his Nigerian roots. He is a Henry Luce Fellow, Ford Foundation grantee and is proficient in English, French, Yoruba Ibo and Hausa. Married with two boys, and a few dogs and birds.


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