Buhari’s Govt: Has The Cabal Reconvened?


It looks like the suspicions of Dr Aisha Buhari are still lingering. The First Lady had earlier told Nigerians that the country was under siege. Mrs. Buhari said there were men in Aso Rock who had hijacked the government of her husband. She pleaded that Nigerians should join her in calling on the ‘cabal’ to allow the President take full control of his government.

Reasonable Nigerians may have jumped into the fray to demand that the hands of our leader be untied so he could effectively carry out the responsibilities of his office. But what came next, surprisingly, was the response by the President that his wife, Aisha, “belongs to the kitchen and the other room”. Truly, while the Islamic religion would most readily embrace this assertion of the President, feminism or perhaps western civilization will angrily and ferociously oppose it. The Islamic religion has no room for a woman. They are treated like a piece of trash and relegated to the background.

But the Nigerian democracy has evolved over the years with multiples of expanded innovations. Women have greatly and consciously been involved in the polity. Political campaigns and governance processes have women as active participants. Currently, Nigeria is officially allocating 35 per cent participation index to carry women along in both elective and appointive political offices. There are many of women senators, federal representatives, ambassadors, ministers, commissioners, deputy governors, chairpersons of boards, chairpersons of councils and even councillors.

The place of women in politics is not only being respected in Nigeria, Africa as a continent boasts of a very heavy record of women who have held sway in political offices and have performed excellently. In western world and other continents of the universe, the place of a woman is as important as that of a man, whether in politics or at home. Only last December 2019, the world stood still watching how a woman played her competent role towards impeaching the President of the United States of America. There are records of such bold, terse, daring, combating, determined and very forward looking women scattered across the length and breadth of Nigeria. One of them is the Ag. Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC), Ms Mary Uduk, who hails from Uyo in Akwa Ibom State.

Mary Uduk is simply known with a character of discipline, competence and commitment. She is a workaholic with the energy to serve at her duty post. Of course, to have been serving for 33 years and nine months in SEC is a mark of resilience and total determination. With impeccable track record of service in the Nigeria’s Capital Market, she resumed duties as DG of SEC since April 2018. This was through the recommendation of the then Finance Minister, Mrs. KemiAdeosun, who had suspended the former SEC DG on grounds of embezzlement.


RELATED: A’Ibom Leaders fault FG’s Diversion of NNPC’s N43 billion

But President Buhari now wants a substantive DG for the Commission. Now who is better qualified for confirmation as substantive DG than her? It was rather sad that the President recently sent another name for replacement of Mary Uduk. MrLamido A. Yuguda, a former Director with the Central Beneral and Reginald C. Karawusa, Ibrahimank, was meant for the position of director G D.Boyi, and Joseph Obisan (all northerners) were enlisted as full time commissioners of the board.

Against this backdrop, the senators from Akwa Ibom State, Tuesday, rose for a call that the Nigerian Senate rejects the fresh recommendation of a substitute as earlier submitted by the President. In a petition signed by Senators Bassey Albert Akpan, Christopher Ekpenyong and Akon Eyakenyi, presented and submitted by Albert, the Akwa Ibom senators queried Mary Uduk’s substitution, describing it as being lopsided. They noted that despite “the South South region producing the oil that feeds the country, over 85 per cent of chief executives in Nigeria National Petroleum Company (NNPC) were northerners.”
“She represents Nigeria in regional and international bodies such as the West African Capital Market Integration Council (WACMIC), Africa/Middle-East Regional Committee (AMERC), and is currently on the board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), the international standards setter for securities regulation”, the petition read in part.
For Honourable Onofiok Luke who is the member, Etinan/Nsit Ibom/Nsit Ubium Federal Constituency,the President’s prerogative of making appointments must not set aside the “federal character requirements of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.” In a release Onofiok Luke personally signed on May 27, 2020, he considered Uduk’s track record in restoring investors’ confidence in Nigeria’s capital market as one among several reasons she should be considered to retain the office in substantive capacity. Luke reasoned that Uduk was going to be replaced at a time of global economic instability, when her experience and familiarity with the terrain of the Nigerian market would have served the nation’s best interest.

Of course, the Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC), Nigeria is the apex regulatory institution of the Nigerian capital market supervised by the Federal Ministry of Finance. Evolving as the Capital Issues Committee in 1962, the then essential arm of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) became SEC in 1979, and a new legislation, the Investments and Securities Act (ISA) No 45 of 1999 and the ISA No. 29 of 2007 gave the Commission its current powers. It is the same Act which empowered the Commission to have a board of nine (9) members including the chairman, the director general, three executive commissioners, two non-executive commissioners, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria.

Writing on this subject from Ikot Ebak of Mkpat Enin Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State, Etubom Imukudo opines that after “successfully converted NNPC to “Northern Nigeria Petroleum Company” due to what he described as “lopsided appointments” where “almost all juicy offices and beyond are being manned by northern Muslims”, President was unfair in unceremoniously showing Mary Uduk the exit door.

Trained in Ahmadu Bello University, Mary Uduk who joined the Securities and Exchange Commission since 1986 had previously served as Director, Management Department, served in Administration Department, Human Resources and Operations, actually started from the Registration Department where she directly registered most of the senior capital market operators today. Uduk has traversed the length and breadth of SEC and anchored banking and insurance sectors consolidation between 2005 to 2007. She had been fully involved in landmark transactions relating to public offers, both in equities and fixed income securities in the capital market and masters the aspect of rule making for the market. These and more marks of competence, sufficiently showcase MsUduk as not just eminently qualified for the post of a substantive DG, but as one who must not be demoralized, after her hard labour and long years of personal sacrifices for her fatherland.

No doubt, no Nigerian will contest President Buhari’s ‘absolute’ powers to nominate for appointment. Senator DanjumaGoje from Gombe had ‘expectedly’ raised objections against the petition by Akwa Ibom senators, saying it was in his own wisdom and in line with the powers conferred on him by the constitution” that he made the nomination. The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, who referred the petition to the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Petition, maintained that those who signed the petition will be invited to defend their grouse.

Two questions must be thrown at the President at this material time. First is, ‘has the ‘Cabal’ in Aso Rock reconvened?’ Aisha Buhari had told Nigerians that it is the ‘Cabal’ that hijacked power from the grip of her husband. If that is not so, then some other question has to be raised.

Thus, “Is President Buhari still alive?” People may call this useless, until they recall that the President had promised Nigerians, “I belong to nobody and I belong to everybody.” If truly MrPresident still exists and he is not being over-powdered by a ‘cabal’ whose helmsman may unfortunately have recently joined his ancestors, one becomes worried whether the President can rightly be reminded that his powers to appoint without recourse to ethnic or zonal balances could cause the Constitution to ‘grumble’. If truly President Buhari cannot be reminded to allow merit to thrive, then Nigerians should save their breathe and believe that the experienced ‘gown’ which arrived Aso Rock some weeks back has actually replaced himself as the captain to reconvene the ‘cabal’.

Related Articles

Back to top button