Former Chairman of Drugs and Narcotics Committee of the House of Representatives, Hon. Bassey Etim, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to distribute appointments to his cabinet in line with the religious, political and ethnic structure of the country.
The ex-lawmaker and a leading anti-cyber-crime campaigner and expert, spoke with journalists yesterday in Abuja. Etim, who commended the administration of Buhari for his proposal to set up Special Courts to try cases of sleaze and graft in public offices, however, advised that for the war against corruption to succeed, the government must be seen to be just in its appointment of officials into government.
“In a federalism or federal entity like Nigeria, there can be no justice without equity. It’s not enough to get qualified appointees in government, but the appointees must reflect the religious, political and cultural diversity of Nigeria. In other words, every geo-political zone; including the areas that didn’t vote for the President, must be well represented in his cabinet.
“Even in America, China and other developed countries, the Principle of Federal Character is entrenched and recognised. You cannot sit down and run a government of merit by sacrificing Federal Character. You cannot place other Nigerians above others. It’s not about merit alone, it’s about equity.
The issue of merit should not be used to destroy the provisions of the constitution. When you take out justice, the government will be running without a break,” he warned. He also warned the President against a sectional approach to administration.
According to him, the wish of all Nigerians, would be for Buhari to emerge as the new Mandela of the world and another Abraham Lincoln(former United States President). “Any government that is winner-takes-all, cannot succeed. God saw the qualities in Buhari and lifted him up, so he should rise above ethnicism, favouritism, and become Nigeria’s Abraham Lincoln. We need Buhari to be the new Abraham Lincoln of Nigeria.
He should come up with a policy that embraces all and leave a legacy that will endure across Nigeria. We need a Moslem who will see the virtues of a Christian. We need a black man, who will see the value of a white man,” he advised. He also advised that the new set of appointments should cut across all geo-political zones of the country.
-Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja