The new president-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been advised by retired professor of sociology at the university of Lagos, Lai Olurode, to place service delivery as a priority consideration rather than appointment to settle party loyalists. After the just-concluded 2023 general elections, many politicians from all sides of the divide seems to have been lobbying for appointment from the president-elect. It is also expected that Tinubu favor his party members over others for voting him in the elections.
Prof. Olurode in a statement he issued in Lagos asked Tinubu and newly-elected governors to consider certain critical factors in nominating those to serve in their governments. Of course, since his days as the governor of Lagos State, he has been known to gather efficient hands in the running of his administration. However, not everyone from his party may meet certain criteria needed for becoming officials in his government. The best brains may not also be from the All Progressive Congress (APC).
Appointed officials must be ready to serve the country.
A hallmark of a true government official is the spirit of service. Regardless of the number of votes and the demography of voters, the president-elect is expected to serve the general populace as a matter of necessity. During one of President Buhari’s speeches, he mentioned that a region of the country gave him five percent of the votes while the rest produced over 90 percent of them. Because of that, he said that he would focus more on the demography that gave him a higher percentage of votes.
This is one of the issues that Prof. Olurode highlights in his statement to the newly elected president. A section of the country should not be alienated just because of the political divide that occasion the general elections. It is a general opinion that Tinubu has a highly divided country to govern when he is sworn in on May 29, 2023. However, he can bring the country together via his inclusion of members of other political parties in Nigeria.
Officials should be young and healthy to serve.
Buhari’s tenure was tainted with a lot of controversies and conspiracy theories when he spent at least 60 days in a London hospital. One of these conspiracies is that he had died and that a clone had returned to take over from his vice president. Well, whether a president should spend more than two months in a hospital is not the current discourse here. The country will make giant strides in spite of a President’s absence when ministers, aids, service chiefs and other public office holders are healthy and agile to discharge their duties.
The professor noted that the health conditions of nominees are important and their age becomes relevant. “In key sectors of that are critical to development in the third world, such as education, works, health, department and rural transformation, young people in their thirties or forties should be searched for,” Prof. Olurode’s statement reads. He said that the cut-off age for sectors that are the life wire of the economy should be about 55 years. Of course, there may be exceptions in individuals who are savvy and healthy but outside the age bracket. Provisions can be made for them.
Appointments must be inclusive of ethnicities and genders.
Apart from placing service higher in nominations, there should be gender balance. Appointees must represent and reflect Nigeria’s diversities and ethno-religious complexity. In other words, all ethnicities, religious faiths and other diversities in the country must be included in the governing process. This would enable all Nigerians to have confidence in the new government at all levels. It would also promote synergy between the state and the Nigerian society. New governments should stay away from the temptations of winners take all which can only breed unnecessary rivalry and run the government down, Prof. Olurode admonished.