Not in defence of President Museveni

Permit me to add my voice to the outcry by some Nigerians against President  Museveni of the Republic of Uganda, who recently appointed his daughter, Natasha, as the Governor of the Central Bank of Uganda. Mr Museveni, father, is the president, Mrs Museveni, mother, is the minister of education, one of his sons is the chief of defence and now his daughter is the governor of the central bank.

However, to me as a student of power, this is not news. It is important to state that even in the advanced western democracies not under “monarchies” there a history of having family members in government and or maintaining political dynasty. We have had the Kennedy, Roosevelt, Bush, Adams dynasties, etc.

Leadership is all about bettering the lots of the people. Our uppermost concern in governance should be about the people with the capabilities to better the lots of the people. Our conversation on leadership should go beyond the issue of ones family or age or being poor or rich, but competency.

It is high time we elevated our discussion to ones capacity, competence, patriotism, commitment, integrity and or result oriented not ones family, age, region or zone. 

The Kennedy family 

President Kennedy after winning election in 1960 in the US his first appointment was his 35-year-old brother as the Attorney general of the United States. Robert Kennedy was his brother’s campaign manager. Robert Kennedy was very instrumental in Kennedy’s government.

Robert Kennedy’s influence in the administration extended well beyond law enforcement. Though different in temperament and outlook, the president came to rely heavily on his brother’s judgment and effectiveness as political adviser, foreign affairs counselor, and most trusted confidant. 

The Trump family 

President Donald Trump before his swearing in then as US President-elect, appointed three of his children: Eric Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, to his transition team. After his swearing in, he appointed his son-in-law Jared Kushner as senior adviser to the president. Ivanka Trump was appointed presidential adviser.

The Georgia mafia

President Jimmy Carter, 39th US president, appointed must of his officials from Georgia where he hails from. The situation then made the US media to nickname them as the Georgia Mafia. Most of the key positions in the executive branch were staffed by Georgians who had some connection to Carter. President Carter argued that the buck stops at his table as such he appointed his trustees and loyalists most of whom happened to be from Georgia.

There are many other examples around the world. Ours should be on the welfare of the country and its people. We have had enough of celebrations of leaders on the basis of their age or region, but still here we are. Our uppermost concern should be on those who have the capacity to better our lots.

May God bless Nigeria!

Nurudeen Dauda,

Kaduna, Kaduna state

[email protected]