Many Nigerians have been reacting on Twitter following the news, yesterday, that President Muhammadu Buhari decided against reappointing Babatunde Fowler as the Executive Chairman of Nigeria’s tax body, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).
As Nairametrics reported, Fowler’s first term in office was completed recently following his appointment in 2015. Although many were expecting that he would be reappointed, the job was given to someone else (Muhammad Nami) instead.
Did Fowler beg to be reappointed?
Now, what makes the situation even more dramatic is that prior to this time, Babatunde Fowler reportedly wrote the Presidency to enquire about the possibility of having his tenure extended. A leaked memo to this effect has since been circulated online, and this has got Nigerians talking.
Tunde Fowler beg the cabal for 2nd term, the cabal rejected then leaked the letter. ?
Magu has the green light to widen the investigation in #FIRS
Grab your popcorn… ?? pic.twitter.com/nS61Y3J5X9
— Adetutu Balogun (Ezi Ada 1 of Diaspora) (@Tutsy22) December 10, 2019
Outrage over Fowler’s replacement
The debate on Twitter has mostly centred on why Babatunde Fowler’s appointment was not renewed. Those in support of his reappointment bid argued that he performed exceptionally during his first tenure and deserved to be reappointed. Olushola Olufolabi was particularly upset about Fowler being replaced by a lesser qualified professional.
I feel so ashamed of your replacement. How could such ever happen!? Replaced by a nonentity….15yrs ABU graduate!
In all of Buhari's cabinet none is as qualified as Babatunde Fowler …. I cry for Nigeria ? ? https://t.co/rRw7MoDLcm pic.twitter.com/hINy50tzlw
— Olushola Olufolabi (@olushola_shola) December 9, 2019
This is the same sentiment Young Otutu expressed when he wrote the following:
The sad thing about FIRS Boss sack, Tunde Fowler, sack is the low quality of his replacee;
an unknown "renowned" Tax consultant, Muhammad Nami, whose cv is below par.
A black monday for Tinubu & his fans.
— Young Otutu (@YoungOtutu) December 9, 2019
Other people were quick to observe that many of the DGs and CEOs in many government agencies have recently had their appointments renewed by President Muhammadu Buhari. So, why wasn’t Fowler’s appointment renewed?
Most CEOs under Buhari normally get 2nd term but egbekegbe will tell us Fowler's tenure finish that was why.
Yes his tenure finish but why is he not given renewal ? Is either he underperformed or not in the good books of power that be
— Hamma (@HAHayatu) December 9, 2019
But to some, this is a welcome development
Many people are truly just as happy over Babatunde Fowler’s departure as FIRS’s Executive Chairman. One Twitter user actually wrote that Fowler is incompetent and that President Buhari must have seen that and decided not to renew his appointment.
Fowler was incompetent, He was the one responsible for imposing all manner of funny taxes on Nigerians. Baba saw his incompetence and refused to renew his appointment. Was it not Baba that renewed and reappointed Godwin Emefiele? Take your stupid narrative to the gutters pls.
— Eminently Qualified (@ihe69) December 10, 2019
Another person alleged that Fowler even “destroyed” a working system he met on ground and then used propaganda to make himself look competent. This Twitter user, who was identified simply as Boye, went further to allege that the former FIRS boss abused the powers of his office.
Leave 2023 aside, Fowler destroyed a working system he met in that organization. All those performance, were a media propaganda. He's a bad manager. Abuse of office, disobedience to laid down rules, illegal recruitments, diversion of funds, highhandedness, impunity etc
— Boye (@DIVINEBOYE) December 10, 2019
There is even a short clip on Twitter that shows FIRS staff reportedly “mocking” Babatunde Fowler as he departed his former place of work in a convoy.
JUST IN: FIRS staff mocking Tunde Fowler as he leaves office pic.twitter.com/Tiu7zqbfLP
— Lere Olayinka – Aresa 1 (@OlayinkaLere) December 10, 2019