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Mr. President, Speak Up Please By Adesuwa Onyenekwe

I am a Leadership For Environment And Development, (LEAD) fellow and in more recent times an, African Leadership Institute, (ALI) Bloomberg Media Initiative fellow. Through the training from both fellowships, I have learnt a lot about leadership and national development. One vital take away is that, true leadership that can bring about peace and national development is hinged on the recognition of and respect for diversity. This only happens with fair and equitable representation. You see, a true leader is like a good parent for whom each child is a favourite, even though they have talents with unequal value!

This is why the recent talk of Federal Government appointments within this administration being skewed in favor of Northern Nigeria, where president Muhammadu Buhari comes from, bothers me. A Google search will show you how that played out, so I do not need to go into details.

I am bothered because our president is mute on that. I find it quite baffling that Mr. President has not responded to any of the accusations from ordinary Nigerians over this. If anything, new appointments seem to re-emphasise this, the most recent being the appointment of the inspector general of police.

At the onset of his administration, Mr. President told us that he belonged to no one and everyone. That to me is a pledge to neutrality, which in essence put paid to the bigotry people had accused him of during the campaigns. So today if his appointments are giving the wrong impression what is it we do not know? Why is no one engaging us? A leader must be sensitive to his followers. Even if one assumes our president is making these appointments based on merit, it still doesn’t make it right. He needs to be sensitive to the fact that Nigeria is a diverse nation and representation has to reflect this, to give everyone a sense of belonging. When it comes to judging actions, I am one person that is long on benefit-of-doubt. I gave our president such, after all I voted for him, but these recent appointments, his being taciturn about this and a number of other issues, make me wonder.

I know sometimes silence works, but this time in Nigeria is not the best to be that way. Mr. President please speak up so we know wither you are.

Adesuwa Onyenokwe is a celebrated broadcaster who worked with the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) for many years, before retiring and starting up her magazine called Todays Woman.

This Article was first published on twmagazine.net

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