President Muhammadu Buhari Says Late Submission Of Handover Notes By Goodluck Jonathan Is Major Reason He Delayed Constituting A Cabinet Whose List Of Nominees Is Now At The Senate
Following rising anxiety over his inability to constitute a cabinet four months after he was inaugurated as President, Muhammadu Buhari, has given fresh reasons he was unable to select from the array of human capital available to him, to form his cabinet.
Speaking in nationwide address to mark the 55th Independence anniversary of the country, President Buhari said late submission of handover notes by Goodluck Jonathan formed a major reason for the delay.
He argued that handover notes, which were submitted four days to his inauguration, afforded his transition committee led by Ahmed Joda, little time to thoroughly study it and make the necessary changes.
He however argued that rushing to form a cabinet would have been counter-productive adding that the delay was also aimed at making sure that the right kinds of persons were appointed. He however said the list of nominees had been sent to the senate. Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has also confirmed receipt of the list.
In a confirmation he made on his twitter handle, via trending #TheList, Saraki said “I can now confirm that I just received #Thelist of Ministerial nominees”. The President also disclosed that the first batch of list of persons to be appointed as ministers has been forwarded to the Senate adding that the second batch would be forwarded in due course.
He said: “There have been a lot of anxiety and impatience over the apparent delay in announcement of ministers. There is no cause to be anxious. Our government set out to do things methodically and properly. “We received the handing over notes from the outgoing government only four days before taking over.
Consequently, the Joda Transition Committee submitted its Report on the reorganization of Federal Government structure after studying the hand over notes. “It would have been haphazard to announce ministers when the government had not finalized the number of ministries to optimally carry the burden of governance. “Anyway, the wait is over.
The first set of names for ministerial nominees for confirmation has been sent to the senate. Subsequent lists will be forwarded in due course. “Impatience is not a virtue. Order is more vital than speed. Careful and deliberate decisions after consultations get far better results. And better results for our country is what the APC government for change is all about”, he stated.
Speaking further, President Buhari stated he comes to governance with an open heart and bears no ill grudges against anyone, over any past event adding that rather, people should be more concerned about the consequences of their actions. “As I said in my inaugural speech, I bear no ill will against anyone on past events.
Nobody should fear anything from me. We are not after anyone. People should only fear the consequences of their actions. I hereby invite everyone, whatever his or her political view to join me in working for the nation”, Buhari said.
Commenting on steps he had so far taken to address problems facing the country, President Buhari said: “Every new government inherits problems. Ours was no different. But what Nigerians want are solutions, quick solutions not a recitation of problems inherited.
Accordingly, after consultations with the Vice President, senior party leaders and other senior stakeholders, I quickly got down to work on the immediate, medium-term and long-term problems which we must solve if we are to maintain the confidence which Nigerians so generously bestowed on us in the March elections and since then.
“As you know, I toured the neighboring countries, marshal a coalition of armed forces of the five nations to confront and defeat Boko Haram. I met also the G7 leaders and other friendly presidents in an effort to build an international coalition against Boko Haram.
Our gallant armed forces under new leadership have taken the battle to the insurgents, and severely weakened their logistical and infrastructural capabilities. Boko Haram are being scattered and are on the run. That they are resorting to shameless attacks on soft targets such as I.D.P. camps is indicative of their cowardice and desperation. I have instructed security and local authorities to tighten vigilance in vulnerable places.
“On power, government officials have held a series of long sessions over several weeks about the best way to improve the nation’s power supply in the safest and most cost effective way. In the meantime, improvement in the power supply is moderately encouraging. By the same token, supply of petrol and kerosene to the public has improved throughout the country.
All the early signs are that within months the whole country would begin to feel a change for the better. “Preliminary steps have been taken to sanitize NNPC and improve its operations so that the inefficiency and corruption could be reduced to a minimum.
Those of our refineries which can be serviced and brought back into partial production would be enabled to resume operations so that the whole sordid business of exporting crude and importing finished products in dubious transactions could be stopped.
“In addition to NNPC, I have ordered for a complete audit of our other revenue generating agencies mainly CBN, FIRS, Customs, NCC, for better service delivery to the nation. Prudent housekeeping is needed now more than ever in view of the sharp decline in world market oil prices. It is a challenge we have to face squarely. But what counts is not so much that accrues but how we manage our resources”, he added.
President Buhari also reminded Nigerians that “change does not just happen. You and I and all of us must appreciate that we all have our part to play if we want to bring change about. We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust. We must change our unruly behavior in schools, hospitals, market places, motor parks, on the roads, in homes and offices. To bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-abiding citizens”.
Meanwhile, there were speculations that the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari; and Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang; were said to have sent the list to the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, by 4:56 p.m. yesterday. Earlier at the Plenary, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) senators and their colleagues in the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) traded words over speculations that the Senate President, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, may be playing hide-and-seek with the list.
In an attempt to get clarification on the issue yesterday, the Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, raised a point of order under matter of urgent public importance to know why Saraki did not announce Buhari’s letter containing the ministerial nominees. Akpabio particularly noted that the media had been awash with stories of the ministerial appointees by Buhari in the last two weeks. “So, Mr. President, why are you hiding the list from your colleagues?” Akpabio asked.
When Saraki made to respond to Akpabio’s question, the Deputy Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ibn Bala Na’Allah, who stood in for the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Ali Ndume, raised a counter point of order. Na’Allah, who explained that the day was still very young, added that there was still hope that Buhari would still transmit the list since the day’s session officially ends by 12:30 p.m.
-Tony Ailemen and Teddy Nwanunobi, Abuja