Mr Umar, in an open letter he wrote on Sunday to Mr Buhari, said Nigeria has already become “dangerously polarized” under Mr Buhari.
The lopsidedness in Mr Buhari’s appointment, Mr Umar said, is more glaring in the leadership of the nation’s security services.
He mentioned to Mr Buhari some of the actions of former Nigerian leaders whom he (Umar) said were able to rise above ethnic and sectional considerations to do what was right in the interest of the nation.
Mr Umar’s letter is titled ‘Mr. President; Please Belong to All of Us’, a sarcastic reminder of a popular quote made by Mr Buhari during his inauguration in 2015 – ‘I belong to everybody and I belong to nobody’.
Mr Umar referred the president to the case of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, who was disgraced out of office on corruption charges.
Mr Onnoghen had resigned from office on account of the charges and was later convicted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
The thinking among some Nigerians was that Mr Onnoghen, from Cross River, South-South Nigeria, was “hounded” out of office so that a northerner could become the CJN.
After his appointment by President Buhari as acting CJN on November 10, 2016, Mr Onnoghen’s confirmation was sent to the Senate three months after not by Mr Buhari, but by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who was the acting president then. He was sworn in by Mr Osinbajo, March 7, 2017.
“You may wish to recall that I had cause to appeal to you, to confirm Justice Onnoghen as the substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria a few days before the expiration of his three months tenure of the acting appointment to be replaced by a Muslim Northerner,” Mr Umar said to President Buhari in the letter.
“We were saved that embarrassment when his nomination was sent to the senate by the then acting President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo. When he was finally confirmed a few days to the end of his tenure, he was removed after a few months and replaced by Justice Muhammed, a Muslim from the North,” Mr Umar added.
– Premium Times
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