North East Caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the National Assembly yesterday threw its weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari’s lopsided appointments. The caucus also frowned at criticisms from sections of the country over the appointments which has largely tilted in favour of the region. Aside from previous appointments made by Buhari, he has also appointed six key state officials last week out of which five favoured the North, especially the North-East geo-political zone.
This has led to outcry of injustice from Nigerians across other zones,particularly the South-East geo-political zone, which is yet to get a single appointment so far. However, the APC National Assembly caucus, at a press briefing yesterday, argued that there was nothing wrong in the appointments made so far by the President. Senator Danjuma Goje from Gombe State, who spoke on behalf of the caucus, said yardsticks used by the President in making the appointments are not ethnic, religious or regional as alleged by his critics.
“Competence, integrity, trust, etc. were the yardsticks used by the President in making the appointments (he has made so far),” he argued. He also cited examples made in that direction by President Barrack Obama of United States of America and David Cameroon, the Prime Minister of Great Britain in recent time. “Fellow Nigerians, it is high time we got it right. It is not about where a man comes from; but about what he can deliver, especially in the interest of his people.
“President Barack Obama started with over 20 of his Harvard classmates and David Cameron of Britain started with most of his schoolmates. This has in no way made the news in those countries because they had their eyes set on bigger national picture,” he said.
He explained further that appointments such as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Chief of Staff to the President that some Nigerians are criticizing the President are not meant to be made any how due to needed factor of closeness and trustworthiness on the part of the appointees to the President,” he said.
He also added that even such appointments were also made by the immediate past administration of President Goodluck Jonathan. “Back home here in Nigeria, we recall that most key appointments in the last administration, especially that of the Chief of Staff to the President, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Special Adviser on Media, Special Adviser on National Assembly Matters and other key appointments were from the Southern region, and nobody made huge cry about it.
“Thus, we appeal to Nigerians, that this administration is just about hundred days old, and there are thousands of other appointments to be made by Mr. President, where the needed balance will be effected as the President is not out to marginalize any section of the country.
– Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja