A group of young individuals from the northern region of Nigeria has appealed to President Bola Tinubu to steer clear of what they deem as biased appointments, reminiscent of those made by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari.
These youths, operating under the banner of the Northern Youth Leaders Forum (NYLF), have acknowledged that northerners may not have a legitimate basis for protesting against Tinubu’s perceived uneven appointments. However, they have expressed their viewpoint that the nation should persist differently.
Certain northern leaders have criticized President Tinubu, alleging that he has shown favouritism toward the southern part of the country in his selection of appointees. For example, Islamic cleric Ahmad Gumi has claimed that Tinubu appointed more Southern Christians to key positions while disregarding northerners who purportedly assisted him in gaining power.
Speaking to the media in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, on Sunday, the National President of NYLF, Elliot Afiyo, stated that Tinubu is perpetuating the alleged imbalance in appointments inherited from Buhari.
Afio revealed that from 2015 to 2023, Buhari established an appointment imbalance of 80 percent favouring the north and 20 percent favouring the south.
Nonetheless, he has implored Tinubu not to replicate Buhari’s approach when choosing his appointees, emphasizing that “the nation must not persist in making the same mistakes.”
He pointed out that past Nigerian leaders, since the country’s independence, have engaged in biased appointments that favoured their regions at the expense of others.
The youth leader asserted that former President Olusegun Obasanjo attempted to rectify the imbalance when he assumed power in 1999.
“However, Buhari came in and widened the gap to 20/80. Even the northerners appointed by Buhari were not purely northerners. We now observe that President Tinubu’s appointments are leaning towards the South West.
“I would say that northerners may not have the grounds to protest against the perceived imbalance in appointments. But as enlightened citizens, I pose this question: Can we continue in this manner? Where is our nation headed? Therefore, there is an urgent need for us to restore balance,” he emphasized.