Over the last two days, I did an experiment. It was nothing scientific; so do not start questioning me on my controls. I was just trying to understand the state of the nation. I provided two options to some of my friends, people in my network, cab drivers, etc, and asked them to make a selection.
Option A: You are given a house, with no money, but with top-grade security from army, navy, SSS, police, etc to protect the castle.
Option B: You are given an equivalent of the same house in Option A, but no security, but with truckloads of money in different currencies.
I asked them to make a choice: 100% selected Option B.
Now, I told them that President Buhari might have chosen Option A. He has more than 80% of his security appointees from the North and 80% of the economic appointees from the South. Yes, in Mr. President’s appointments, he might be (ironically) boosting the South than the North since security cannot buy economic power but economic power is security.
People, do not make too much out of this. But I would have wished that President Buhari balanced the appointments. Northern Nigeria needs more economic power than gun-power. I do travel there a lot. According to UNESCO, World Bank and other respected institutions, a child born in Umuahia (South) has a higher chance in life than one born in Kano (North). And Emir Sanusi did note, while a CBN governor, that Onitsha had more microfinance banks than the whole of Kano.
In Nigeria, our press must improve the game. Instead of talking about marginalization on security appointments, there is an opportunity to shape the conversation for Mr. President to think deeper on some of these appointments. It requires looking at alternative elements in policy formulation. The North has no major newspaper and the implication is that we get more perspectives from the South. The top five newspapers – Guardian, Sun, Thisday, Punch and Vanguard – are largely southern. When that happens, the press could fail in providing balance on nationwide conversations. Why? Everyone writes based on his/her experiences, and if the southerners run the press, they would largely shape the contents from their views.
Again, nothing here is scientific.
@Kazeem, I guess you got the spirit of the piece wrong. It’s not even about the President’s performance, ofcourse some of us aren’t interested in discussing such here. We are talking about a disequilibrium or misalignment, whereby the northern part aren’t equipped for economic emancipation; but the media narrative centres on security appointments. Forgetting that the current setup isn’t a sound decision and it’s unfavourable to the North, but you have to look deeper to understand the implications of these things.
The way it is right now, the North is in bigger mess, but on the surface, it’s easy to believe that they are in charge. I think this is what the piece is about, it’s not so simple grasp the underlying and important message therein.
---Visit our Store for my books, cases, notes, etc. Now, enjoy our consolidated subscription for all contents (past, present and future).
-- We offer Advisory Services (tech, strategy & Africa).