The Dangers of Indiscretion and Excessive Garrulity: Why SGF Babachir David Lawal Let Me Down. Speaking at a Thanks Giving Church Service on Sunday, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir David Lawal, paid glowing tributes to Bola Tinubu and Bisi Akande for making his appointment possible. He said he never knew them before, and thanked them and God for what he is today.
I have no problem with anybody expressing gratitude to those who were instrumental to their appointment. In doing so, however, leaders should avoid careless comments that needlessly hurt the sensibilities of others. In course of his effusive outpouring of gratitude to Tinubu and Bisi Akande, SGF David Lawal said incautiously: “Because if it has been left to Northerners, it is doubtful if they will take a Christian man to make him Secretary to Government of the Federation.” Was this thoughtless remark or statement necessary by such a high ranking public figure? Perhaps without realising it, the SGF has indicted President Buhari that appointed him. Buhari is a northern Muslim and that didn’t stop him from appointing David Lawal as SGF, regardless of who influenced his choice in the APC leadership.
The idea that certain northerners would have opposed your appointment because you are a Christian is nauseatingly disappointing. President Buhari had the discretion to either approve or reject people recommended to him for appointments, regardless of who recommended them. I am a Muslim and I don’t envy any Christian reaching the pinnacle of any public appointment. Didn’t General Abacha appoint David Attah, a Christian from Benue State , as his Chief Press Secretary? Former Speaker Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, a northern Muslim, supported a northern Christian, Yakubu Dogara, to become his successor. Then why should SGF Babachir David Lawal upset the apple cart or throw a cat among the pigeons when we need unity to make progress in achieving the goals of the change agenda of President Buhari?
Leaders should rise above provincialism and parochialism. The mentality of We vs Them should have no place in the thinking of public office holders. If this statement had been made by an ordinary Nigerian, I would have ignored it altogether, but for an SGF to come this low, it goes beyond the pale. Good governance has nothing to do with provincialism. If a Christian or Muslim leader would make life better for me, or the future better for my children, do I care about your religious and ethnic identity or minority status?