The Arewa Economic Forum, a group advocating for the development of the northern economy, has accused President Bola Tinubu of exhibiting ethnic favoritism in his selection of key appointees for vital economic sectors.
The forum contends that the appointments made thus far reveal a distinct inclination toward individuals from the southwest region, particularly those linked to Lagos State.
During a press conference held in Abuja, Ibrahim Shehu Yahaya, Chairman of the forum, voiced concern over what he described as a deliberate “Yorubanisation” and “Lagoslisation” of the political landscape.
While acknowledging the qualifications of the appointees, the group maintained that competent individuals could be sourced from all regions of the country, thereby achieving a balanced national representation.
The Arewa Economic Forum highlighted the appointments of Mr. Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy; Mr. Folashodun Shonubi, Acting Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN); Mr. Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy; Afolabi Salisu, Chairman of the Senate Committee on ICT; and Adedeji Olajide Odidiomo, Chairman of the House of Representatives, all hailing from the southwest.
The forum urged President Tinubu to take corrective measures in future appointments and crucial decisions to ensure a more inclusive representation across the nation.
In response to inquiries about why the concerns weren’t raised during former President Muhammadu Buhari’s tenure, Yahaya explained that the Arewa Economic Forum had not yet been established at that time.
The group also raised questions about the recent appointment of Engr Bisoye Coker-Odusote as Acting DG of the National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) after Engr Aliyu Abubakar Aziz was placed on retirement leave.
The directive stipulated that Coker-Odusote would serve in an acting capacity for three months before assuming the role of substantive DG for a full tenure, a move that the forum deemed unusual and potentially setting a negative precedent in public service appointments.
While recognizing the President’s well-meaning intentions for the nation, the Arewa Economic Forum emphasized the significance of optics and perception.
It called on President Tinubu to ensure impartiality, fairness, and equitability in appointments, not only due to the support he received from northern voters but as a responsible and just course of action.
In a final note, the group urged the President to resist sectional pressure and avoid actions that could misconstrue his genuine intentions or the motives of his key allies.