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No one ever knew that the appointment of aides by the recently elected Senate President would evoke such a furore in the media. But seeing the attention and protest being visited on the appointment of a severe Buhari critique and columnist, Festus Adedayo, by sycophantic elements in the All Progressives Congress (APC), tells much about their mob-like tendencies.

The Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan, had earlier in the week announced the appointment of a Special Assistant on Media, Festus Adedayo, as well as New Media aide, Olu Onemola, among the myriad special assistants his new office allows him. And for the first time in recent Nigerian history, Festus Adedayo, one-time media aide to the former governor of Oyo State, Senator Isiaka Ajimobi, was pulled down the ladder in a jiffy before he dared to resume work. It seemed like a dream. It would be the shortest appointment ever for any top government aide.

But why were the minions in the APC so angry about Festus’ appointment and not so much about Olu Onemola – who is affiliated to the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and was also the New Media aide to Dr. Bukola Saraki? Some say it was because Festus was always a staunch critic of Buhari and he deserved nothing good culminating from the APC government. Others opine there are even more qualified media experts fit for the job within the ranks of the APC sycophants’ club. One can never be sure what their real intentions are anyway– rationalizing the thinking of sycophants is a yeoman’s job.

Festus, in a caustic rejoinder on the controversial appointment, mentioned that he and another individual were interviewed rigorously by Lawan as if they were defending a PhD thesis. He was chosen obviously because he was the better one of the two. For those who are wont to see the appointment of aides as a strict party matter, would Ahmed Lawan even have emerged without the support of the opposition – the PDP? Why then should the appointment of one or two people who are believed to be associated with the party cause so much lamentation that they began a hashtag campaign on Twitter and Facebook?  

It should still be fresh in our memories when Olusegun Obasanjo appointed members of the opposition into his government- it seemed the most tactical thing to do to calm the opposition down. Prominent among these were Chief Bola Ige who served as Attorney General and Rochas Okorocha, who once served as an aide to Obasanjo on Inter-Party Affairs. Former Senate President Bukola Saraki himself appointed some aides who were not from his party while he was in office. I shall wait to see a list of PDP members serving in the current government.

And this is where sycophants are dangerous. They keep controlling even the best decisions a public official makes. They hound such persons into a rabbit hole of their entitlements, partly because they were also privy to how such politicians bought their way to the top. The APC, their mob, and their sycophantic loyalists are now prepared for the war to corner every government post and appointment. Suitability and competence can be damned. Now that Lawan has been pressured to drop Festus’ appointment even before it began, I hope that the APC legion can see the dangerous precedent they have set for coming appointments which are detribalized, non-partisan and competence-centred. Anybody else who subsequently occupies that office in Festus’ replacement will always be seen only as second in competence to the first choice candidate.

This is how we go the path of stuffing up our vital offices with mediocre officials who have nothing to offer but to keep hailing their employers as long as their pockets are being filled with wads of naira. This crop of people the APC have succeeded in bullying out of appointments would have been the ones who have enough liver to look any misbehaving politician in the eye and tell them off respectfully. Nigeria is so dilapidated right now that we don’t need any more sycophants around public officials. It is a dangerous trend and we should all call it what it is. Enough of all these sycophantic enabling mobs.


The Cable

Featured image source: Premium Times Nigeria

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This article was first published on 21st June 2019


Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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