Every organisation has a corporate culture that embodies the norms or rules of conduct of the members. These norms and values, whether written or unwritten, give the members an idea of how things are: a form of code of behaviour. Perception of all the persons in any organization, from the highest to the lowest rank is influenced by these norms. In the public sector, for example, appointees of any government agency or Parastatals contribute to the success or failure of the organization; depending on how they follow the norms by supporting and accepting them. Despite these rules, leaderships of organisations are usually allowed a measure of discretion, especially when the exigencies of corporate survival and goal delivery dictate a head-hunting approach to human capacity engagement and deployment.
Beyond culture, therefore, whenever the need arises to recruit new personnel, both private and public offices seek the best hands in any field. The Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development cannot be isolated from this maxim. In fact, the Minister, Hajia, Sadiya Umar Farouq understands this fundamental moral rule or principle, better than most of us, and that is why, whenever she wants to make appointments, she takes people based on excellence, and who fit into her working principles. This is self-evident, looking at the calibre of some of the persons working with her already.
Those who understand her selfless, focused and committed ways of doing things, will not pick holes with the recent appointment of Mr. Anthony Kan Onwordi, popularly known as Toni Kan by Hajia Umar Farouq, as spokesperson. The appointment, no doubt, has generated lots of opinions from different people. The arguments, however, have been tilting to two sides. The first side has to do with those who are very objective with their reasoning; they therefore, support Toni Kan’s choice, judging from his antecedents. The other side, comprising mostly of political jobbers, are on their own, playing to the gallery and in the process trying to protect their political interests by all means.
But truth be told, the primary purpose that comes to mind in choosing any appointee is the ability and capacity to manage the position in which one is appointed into. The Ministry knows this clearer, and that was why, the Minister, against any other considerations, went for the person of Toni Kan who they believe has all it takes to deliver the desired expectations from that office.
Besides, the fact that Toni Kan is a round peg in a round hole, the media guru is a Nigerian too. Even non-Nigerians are hired as consultants. It is therefore, very important to point out, that the position of Media Consultant does not call for security screening and even if it does, Toni Kan cannot be labelled a security risk unless any affiliation with the opposition is deemed a security threat. That will amount to fascism.
It is crystal clear that President Buhari does not subscribe to that logic; otherwise, he would not have named Professor Charles Soludo to his Economic Management Team. By appointing Soludo, the President was simply saying that the best, as adjudged by antecedents, should be put together at this crucial watershed in the history of the country. He was applauded for it.
In taking the same principle, Hon Hajia Sadiya Farouq was exhibiting the highest level of patriotism when she considered Mr. Onwordi’s sterling background as a communicator, marketing expert and digital interface architect, to recruit him, for national service; to assist her deliver on the targets of her novel assignment. It is one of those paradoxes of our national life that, rather than applaud her selflessness, by elevating country above partisan considerations, just as the President had done in the case of Soludo, some sycophants are busy demonizing her. By the same token, Toni Kan who, from his rich pedigree, cannot be described as a job seeker, deserves commendation for embracing the call to national service.
We should not also forget that the Minister’s authority to select and nominate people to positions within her office administration is one of the most important responsibilities associated with the office. This is because the Minister can manage only those that she believes can be loyal and with in tandem with the focus of the Ministry. This is achieved by selecting individuals who will carry out a much broader range of management and policymaking functions in line with her plans.
The success or failure of a minister can depend largely on the quality of his or her appointments. There is also no gainsaying that the quality of appointments is critical because the Minister’s appointees are perceived as extensions of the office. A good appointment will reflect well on the Minister, while a bad appointment may undermine her programs and policies
Obviously, there is a campaign of calumny aimed at destroying this young enterprising minister’s career and in the process, destabilizing Buhari’s Administration since she is one of those known to have been loyal to the President through thick and thin. It is hypocritical to talk about party loyalty when it applies to Toni Kan but to look the other way when politicians who said unprintable things, deployed humongous resources and engaged in all schemes, to stop Buhari and APC, right from 2003, to date, have all been welcomed into the APC with fanfare, only to turn round to demonize a young Minister whose loyalty, dedication and competence are not in doubt. That Toni Kan had to throw in the towel bespeaks of a culture of civil intolerance and political hysteria that can only stultify diversity, fuel inbreeding, sycophancy and incompetence and ultimately, jeopardize the achievement of the noble objectives of the Buhari Administration.
Enough of this nonsense.