The political news that is now trending is Buhari and his 35 Federal appointee’s….
There have been several allegations that Buhari’s appointments so far have been heavily slanted towards the North. And this is actually true … of the 35 total appointments Buhari has made, only 8 have been from the South! And people in the opposition party have been quick to jump on this … take Femi Fani Kayode’s long-winded rant accusing Buhari of violating the nation’s Federal character law …
But then there have been several Nigerians who have leaped to the defense of Buhari with statements like “Federal Character is irrelevant as long as the job gets done” or “Buhari is not yet done with his appointments.”
But the statement that seemed the most interesting to me, was from the Chairman of the Northern Elders Council, Alhaji Tanko Yakassai. He said and I quote:
“If you look at the voting pattern, zone by zone, you will see that Buhari is compensating the zones that favored him.”
As an Engineer I was curious to know if this statement was true, so I set out to find out the answer using figures and raw data …
I looked at data from the March election results, pulling out the total number of votes for each of the 6 geo-political zones and converting them to percentages. I also did a similar thing with Buhari’s 35 appointments, placing them along the 6 geo-political zones and converting them to percentages as well. And the results were quite striking….
But before I go into the 6 individual geo-political zones, let’s look at the overall North versus South picture.
From the -pie charts below we can see a very direct direct (extra “direct” for emphasis) correlation to what Alhaji Tanko Yakassai alleged. In the March elections, 80% of Buhari’s total votes came from the North and currently 77% of his political appointments have come from the same North! An almost 1 to 1 correlation.
Now drilling into the data more and looking at the 6 geo-political zones (reference graph below) … we can still observe the same pattern especially in the North. Just like in the elections, the North-West zone has the highest number of appointments, followed by the North-East and North-Central zones.
The trend continues in the South, where the South-East region which was responsible for a paltry 1.3% of the total Buhari votes have so far received 0 political appointments. Although one can argue that Dr. Ibe Kachikwu a Delta-Igbo count’s as a South-East appointment even though he is technically from the South-South.
The only big discrepancy is in the South-South and South-West regions …
Despite only a 2.7% support for Buhari in the elections, the South-South zone has managed to rack up an impressive 14.3% of the appointments, more than 5 times their voting percentage. However the reverse has been the case for the South-West zone who with 15.8% of electoral support have managed to rack up only half of the appointments with only 8.6%!
Now, if appointment by vote was actually a legitimate practice then the South-West zone should feel the most upset, but thankfully appointment by vote is not.
But what does this all mean?
To be honest … nothing yet.
It is still too early to say that Buhari is making appointments to favor zones that supported him. Although the current results show this, it could definitely change as more appointments are announced. But for now it is easy to understand graphically why people are worried … especially given past Buhari precedence … cue 1984 …
“The ethnic and religious composition of Buhari’s Supreme Military Council (SMC) also concerned southerners. Although the SMC’s members was increased to 21, virtually all of its senior positions were held by northern Muslims. Only eight SMC members were from the south” – Excerpt Soldiers Of Fortune by Max Siollun
So as September approaches, Nigerians will be eagerly watching while people like me will be counting to see how the appointments align.
But the most important thing for Nigeria is that we are appointing the best of the best and not just appointing because we want to appease the Federal Character god. THE END.
NOTE: Once all the appointments are completed and finalized, I will update my charts and re-analyze the data for you.
Written by Okechukwu Ofili of ofilispeaks.com
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