Right from the day, the Executive Governor of Delta State, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa appointed his daughter Marilyn Daramola, as the Senior Special Assistant (SSA), on Girl Child Matters, the vast majority of Deltans and of course, the entire nation has listened to inter, cross and trans comments on both the conventional and from social media.
While some could be described as fair symmetrical and charitable, others were asymmetrical, subjective and irrational. However, such responses and comments are by no means a surprise as democracy is requires the ope flow of information both to and, more important, from the citizenry
Aside the fact that the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not against such appointment, looking at commentaries and history, Okowas’ action is not without precedent. First, it is factually supported that a onetime President, John Kennedy, appointed his own brother, Bob, as his Attorney General. The appointment like what is currently going on generated serious controversy.
To douse the tension, Kennedy placed the following questions before the media; Is Bob an American? Is he qualified for the job? Does he have a right to be appointed to public office? Is he patriotic? Can I as a President of the United States trust him to make decisions in the best interest of America?
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Another prominent example of such precedence is that of Lee Kuen Yew, a former Prime Minister of Singapore, who in his reign that lasted for over three decades, had his wife Choo, as his personal secretary. And after his departure from office, he thus noted in his memoir; she (Choo) saved me much time and tedious work, correcting the draft of speeches that I dictated and the transcript of what I said in parliaments and interviews. She is familiar with my vocabulary and can guess my dictated words that my stenographers cannot make out.
Lately but still, at the global stage, the world recently witnessed the appointment by Prime Minister Boris Johnson of his brother, John Johnson, to his cabinet. Back home, the country is littered with such examples-as President Buhari, and Governor Okorocha, the erstwhile governor of Imo State, appointed his son-in-law Uche Nwaosu as his chief of staff among others.
To our understanding, if these world acclaimed leaders could work with their relations and still come out fine, why must we crucify Governor Okowa? Particularly when the daughter speaks volume of not only being desirable of such position but eminently qualified.
What in our views that fueled the truckload of negative comments that trailed the appointment is that when it comes to the issue of others, particularly the leaders, Nigerians becomes reputed for feeling more generous, more nationalistic, selfless, honest, kindly, intelligent or good looking than others.
While forgetting that when we look calmly and honestly, at ourselves, we will discover that we too have similar attributes-we have those same basic desires for recognition, for importance, that same desire for attention, that same desire to be first.
If this is the true position and character as humans, our advice as a responsive and responsible media organization to the thoughtless critics is that before we condemn Okowa and his family, let us see that we have the same propensity to even do more than him in this direction. We all want to be important, to surpass others, and to achieve distinctions.