President Muhammadu Buhari has just sent the names of 46 Ambassadorial nominees to the Senate.
Among the nominees are Olorunnimbe Mamora, a former Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly and a former Senator; Pauline Tallen, a former Deputy Governor of Plateau State and Musa Ibeto who hails from Niger State and who was a ministerial nominee in 2015 until his name was withdrawn for political reasons.
The Ambassadorial list is good enough advertisement for Nigeria’s Federal Character Principle and for once, social media is eerily quiet on the back of federal appointments.
Buhari won’t be assailed with allegations of nepotism and clannishness on Twitter and Facebook. For once. And that’s probably because each State in the Federation is entitled to an Ambassador.
So, there’s a Garba Gajam from Zamfara, Haruna Bawa Abdullahi from Plateau, Adegboyega Ogunwusi from Osun, Mohammed Yisa from Kwara, Etubom Asuquo from Cross River, Francis Efeduma from Delta, Christopher Okeke from Anambra and Uzoma Emenike from Abia, among others.
If you are looking to find out if your Uncle, Mother or Father will be overseeing one of Nigeria’s missions abroad, you’ll need to skim through the entire list of 46.
That isn’t why we are here, by the way.
If you look up the Calendar, today happens to be the 20th day of October, 2016. Buhari was inaugurated as Nigeria’s President on May 29, 2015. Why are we only just getting Ambassadors?
So, our foreign missions have been left un-manned for more than a year?
Why is the Buhari administration this slow, people?
In the past, Aso Villa personnel have told Pulse how the President loves to take his time before arriving at any decision.
“He belongs to the school of thought that says what is worth doing, is worth doing well. So, he makes sure to ponder and ruminate before arriving at a decision or before making appointments”, one of the President’s spokespersons told Pulse in an eatery sprawled on Adeola Odeku, Victoria Island in Lagos, earlier in the year.
It was an attempt at defense from the aide. But it was a defense that still rings hollow, months after.
Buhari also prides himself on being irritatingly slow.
“They call me Baba Go Slow, but I will go slow and steady”, he promised months after he emerged President.
It’s okay to be “Slow and Steady”, if you are overseeing the affairs of a country with robust reserves, a healthy currency, diversified economy and one with plenty of forex.
But if you are Nigeria’s President, ‘Slow and Steady’ really shouldn’t be your thing.
If you are Nigeria’s President at a time of slump in global oil price, a faltering economy, consecutive negative GDP figures and a bloody insurgency, you shouldn’t be taking forever to name appointees or to arrive at decisions.
You should be quicker off the block.
You shouldn’t take forever to name Ambassadors, especially because these Ambassadors should have been in place to communicate Nigeria’s foreign investment policy to the rest of the world at a time when it looked like really bad business to invest in Nigeria.
That Ambassadors are only being named in October of 2016 should earn the Presidency no accolades but rebukes. The appointments are long overdue.
You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, they say. But if Buhari intends to turn around Nigeria’s fortunes, his pace has got to be a lot quicker, going forward.
Taking forever to form a cabinet, to make major economic decisions and to name appointees, won’t cut it.
Which is why no one gives a hoot about these 46 would-be Ambassadors. We are just so late to the game.