Last night, I received a Whatsapp message from a newspaper editor showing that a new Deputy Governor, Aisha Ahmad, “was quickly appointed an ED in Diamond Bank Wednesday morning and immediately appointed Deputy Governor of CBN (same) Wednesday evening.” The text ended asking, “Do you smell a rat in this???”
Aisha has been in the social media for a while for the wrong reason of her dress which is seen as inappropriate for a Muslim lady. I never cared to read any of those posts. Dressing of public officials, when Nigerians continue to die for lack of food and healthcare, is an indulgence I cannot afford.
But among my concern as a public commentator are appointments because they tell what quality of public service Nigerians will have. Naturally I picked interest in the Whatsapp message and pasted on my Facebook wall before I went to bed, enquiring the veracity of the charge that it may carry any smelling rat. (My Facebook Wall has particularly for the past five years been my useful tool of inquisition as it gives me the instant information I need. Aisha’s will not be different – I believed and slept away)
When I woke up this morning, so much has been said on the Wall regarding the matter. No one disputed that she was until her CBN appointment a staff at Diamond Bank. My friend, Ahmad Abubakar-Dr, helped us with a copy of the internal memo of her promotion to the position of Executive Director in her bank last Wednesday. While some jumped to conclude that a rat smells in the appointment, some saw it as luck, a coincidence that she got both appointments the same day, “the work of God”.
Of course and as usual there were the usual ad-hominem comments castigating me for daring to raise a question on what this messianic government did though they hailed me yesterday when I questioned the activities of previous governments since 1998. And if there will be another Obasanjo or Jonathan in power tomorrow, they will condemn my silence would I choose to remain quiet.
The most important comments, however, were those that educated us that the position of Deputy Governor is a political appointment that can be given to anybody in the financial sector. Many instances were cited.
What I conclude from all the positive responses to the post – which are still flowing – is that Aisha’s appointment is quite in order. It does not violate any rule. A political appointment can be given to anyone. You only need to be lucky enough to get one if you are interested. Our father, Adamu Ciroma, was a journalist by training and experience when he was made a Governor of Central Bank, way back in mid-1970s, and he did not fail in his duty. Aisha, with background in Finance, certainly is fit for a subordinate function today.
So let Aisha go ahead with her responsibilities as Deputy Governor in CBN and prove that it did in fact take more than luck to be where she is.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the power of social media. No other medium can compete with it in speed and outreach. If only both the government and the public can utilize it positively, it can contribute immensely to good governance, social cohesion and citizen education. Had I not taken the risk – both personal and legal – of posting the Whatsapp gossip on my Facebook wall and enquired for more information, it would have wasted the precious time and space on social media.
That was how the educating posts made by some regarding the formalities of awarding contracts at NNPC also saved my time and energy on the ongoing “war” between Dr. Kachikwu and Dr. Baru. I knew the latter as a meticulous student-colleague forty years ago and I just failed to believe that he will become brazen overnight. I was not disappointed after reading the posts.
So Let us continue to use the social media positively and the harvest of our efforts on its farm will always to be bumper.
Dr. Aliyu U. Tilde
9 October, 2017
9 October, 2017