MORE reactions yesterday continued to trail the last set of appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari, as Igbo socio-cultural organization, Ohanaeze Ndigbo called on its members to remain calm “in the present circumstance of unexplainable and skewed pattern of appointments which has completely excluded Ndigbo.”
Also, National Chairman of the ruling APC, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun reassured the nation that the President will balance the appointments in the fullness of time, saying “the balancing must happen when the political appointments are being made.” This came as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr David Lawal, said his appointment and that of others “were not products of ethnic and religious sentiments.”
It will be recalled that the President last Thursday appointed Mr David Lawal as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, while he had earlier on May 31 and July 13 appointed Mr Femi Adesina and Mr Babagana Monguno as Special Adviser and National Security Adviser respectively.
Others appointed on Thursday included Alhaji Abba Kyari as Chief of Staff to the President; Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) as new Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service; Mr. Kure Martin Abeshi, Comptroller-General, Nigerian Immigration Service; Senator Ita S.J. Enang as Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) and Suleiman A. Kawu as Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives).
Buhari’ll balance appointments, says Oyegun
National Chairman of the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr John Odigie-Oyegun, yesterday, enjoined Nigerians not to bicker over the development, and assured that the President will balance appointments across all the geo-political regions. He stated that most of the appointments made so far were the personal staff of the president.
Oyegun spoke, yesterday, in Abuja when he received a delegation from MBO Dynamic Support Group, led by its national coordinator, Usman Ibrahim at the party’s national secretariat.
Speaking on the uproar generated by the appointments, Oyegun said: “There have been a lot of unfortunate misinformation and uproar against appointments at this stage. We have two sets of appointments that have taken place. One set is the personal privilege of Mr. President, as far as his personal staff are concerned.
“The other set has to do with a few important and strategic persons that are going to help him either in the fight against corruption or the fight against insurgency in the North-east, but this is not where to play the political balancing game. These are serious appointments and the President has the right to appoint those he has confidence in because these are the areas where he has made promises to Nigerians.
“But we have thousands of political appointments and he has just made a few appointments while thousands are still waiting. The balancing must happen when the political appointments are being made but we must not at this particular point in time, with the few appointments, say that one must be from the North, one must be from South or from the East; not at this stage.
“So, one must make that clear at this stage. Nobody, no leader can disadvantage any part of this nation, that will not happen.”
Also speaking on the anti-corruption fight of President Buhari, the national chairman stated that only the guilty would be afraid of probes.
“If a particular group has ruled for 16 years, then who is guilty of corruption? And all the fight, witch-hunting are neither here nor there. What is important is that everybody who has a skeleton in his cupboard, is the one who has something to fear, if you do not have any skeleton in your cupboard, you go to sleep and sleep very sound but of course if you have, you will pretend and try to divert attention,” he said.
Our appointments not on ethnic, religious basis – SGF
Meanwhile, the newly appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr David Lawal, has said his appointment and others were not products of ethnic and religious sentiments.
He spoke after being sworn-in alongside the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Monday.
President Buhari who presided over the swearing-in of the new appointees did not speak, but speaking to State House Correspondents later, the new SGF who represented others promised to uphold the integrity of their offices to ensure that a new Nigeria emerges under the present government.
His words: “We want to thank God for granting the President the vision, wisdom, kindness and boldness to consider us worthy for positions of responsibilities.
“We did not have to pass examination to get appointed into these positions not because of our tribes, or our faith, or our political groups that we were considered worthy for these positions.
“If it is such, I am sure none of us would have been considered worthy of these appointments. We appreciate the President and we appreciate God who has blessed us with these privileged appointments.
“It is a privilege to serve Nigerians in these capacities at this point in time. Nigeria is at the threshold of achieving greatness and it is our honour and privilege to be senior members of the team that will propel the country to this greatness.
“We have in you and the Vice-President leaders that lead by example, leaders that are focused, whose goal is to build a Nigeria where there is liberty, security, economic prosperity and the rule of law.
“We are grateful that we are part of the team to deliver this goal. Accept our assurances that by the grace of God, we will not fail our country, we will not fail ourselves, our families and our friends. By the grace of God, we will not fail you either. We will strive at all times to serve our country and to serve you with excellence, hard work and integrity.”