By Anthony A. Kila
There is an open sore on the minds and dignity of many Nigerians that probably only President Muhammadu Buhari can quickly heal by saying something clear and loud about the sore and those that caused it. The sore in question is the recent murky recruitment exercise carried out by the Central Bank of Nigeria in which children and close relatives of public office holders and politicians were secretly recruited into sensitive and highly lucrative jobs.
Yes, we have learnt from the gospel of Femi Adesina that our President is not a talkative and that if we want a talkative, we will not get one in this President. Well, time will tell. There is however some issues that even a non-talkative President must talk about and this CBN recruitment scandal we are dealing with in today’s notes is one of them.
By the way, I am sure Femi Adesina like all students of semiotics will know the difference between being talkative and communicative.
The President must say something about this CBN recruitment scandal because the event as reported so far negates and violates everything the President stands for in the minds of many Nigerians.
Let us be clear, and I hope President Buhari knows it too: Good a man as Buhari is, he is no Barack Obama and his oratory skills were never his attraction for most Nigerians. Experienced as he is on Nigerian affairs and governance, most Nigerians do not associate him with dynamic and innovative economic policies nor do they associate Buhari with great diplomatic skills.
Most Nigerians that voted for Buhari and indeed many of those that campaigned against him did so because they see him as an epitome of anti-corruption. The general consensus is that the man Buhari, unlike most politicians, is rather averse to corruption and therefore will fight corruption with all his might and that those under and around him will not dare engage in dodgy matters.
So if all of a sudden, under the watch of this same President, we come to discover that those charged with managing the Apex bank of Nigeria are secretly recruiting children of friends and families of prominent members of the ruling class and that some of the names of those recruited were manipulated so as to disguise their identities, we have reasons to be alarmed. We have reasons to be angry anyway, under any President, because the CBN recruitment scandal combines nepotism, abuse of office and fraud. What more can portray corruption?
We have reasons to be worried, angry and alarmed when it happens under a President like Buhari because it means either these officials are not afraid of him since they think he will not know or mind or worse still that he is part of the scheme.
The CBN is the same institution wherein the biggest case of looting so far uncovered (the Dasukigate) happened, so one would think the bank is under special scrutiny. Now for the same Governor and/or officials on his behalf to pad the bank with children of those more likely than other ordinary citizens to repeat the same looting that happened in Dasukigate makes one wonder what is going on.
In a country with millions of graduates (some admittedly half baked) roaming the streets of Nigeria and foreign countries with their CVs and hopes of working in somewhere like the CBN, it is atrocious of the CBN officials to reserve these plum positions for the children of those who already have a lot. They did not even bother to allow the children of those with little or nothing compete with the children of those that already have power.
Mind you if there should be any bias it should be against the children of those that already have.
Yes, let’s be sincere, most Nigerian politicians own their own businesses. Cynical and self-serving as these people are most of them even have investments abroad so their children are not in desperate need of a start-up in life. Their daddies and mummies have where to put them in the private sectors both home and abroad but no, they still want the public sector. Shame on the entire management of the CBN for abusing their offices to abet and perpetuate such a provocative injustice.
News of this shady recruitment was broken to Nigerians and the whole world by online media outlets about a month ago. We don’t know if President Buhari reads online publications like Premium Times or Sahara Reporters, whichever way, surely he must have heard of this CBN scandal by now.
The President needs to use this particular CBN case to let us know where he stands on nepotism, favouritism and abuse of office. He needs to let us know if he was shocked when he heard the news and what he did. Does he find the whole thing unacceptable or is he fine with the explanation of the CBN that the bank has applied for a waiver from the Federal Character Commission?
The President should say something about this CBN recruitment scandal so that everyone will know that this one unlike most Nigerian scandals will have consequences. He needs to say something so that millions of young people will get a chance to believe that ‘connections’ is not everything in Nigeria.
The President should be aware that friends and foes of Nigeria are watching him. If people end up concluding that he is not so uncomfortable with scandals like this CBN’s exploit, then those holding back will lurch into bigger abuse of office. If the President does not show his disdain for this type of abuse even friends and supporters of the President home and abroad will conclude that things are still the same in Nigeria.
The President should say something about this CBN recruitment scandal because it concerns our youth and, with the youth a leader should be swift and noble, anything outside noble and ideal is below par.
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