Appointing Ministers Is Tough, Says Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has revealed that the process of appointing the members of his cabinet has proved to be a tough task because of the massive rot in the polity.
The President however reassured that his cabinet would be in place before the end of the month.
He stated this in an interview on BBC Hausa service on Tuesday.
“The process is difficult to finish. So, we would continue the screening to come up with people that deserve to hold the positions. This is because, what I see daily in terms of the damage inflicted on Nigeria in the last 10 years is enormous. Only God knows its magnitude,” he said.
Asked if there were names that he earlier lined up for appointments that he later discovered their complicity and then changed his mind, Buhari said: ‘’There are people that deserve to hold the position because of their knowledge in either financial issues or oil sector or even in governance. But you discover that in one way or the other, and whether they knew it or not, they were dragged to such unwholesome practices. Bringing such people will be tantamount to leaving your doors open when you have gone to rest in your apartment. Putting such people in either financial, petrol or works ministry would be dangerous because behind the scene, some people control a person. They would be dictating to them with a threat to award them contracts.
Buhari also defended his recent appointments criticized by many Nigerians as lopsided, saying he nominated people he could trust, and who had worked with him for years.
An overwhelming majority of the President’s senior appointees are from the northern region of the country, where he comes from, and about 33 per cent of the appointments is from his native Katsina State. The South East has no appointee yet.
Asked why his appointments are lopsided, he said: “This is the nature of Nigerian politics. If they will do justice to me, as an elected Nigerian president, let them look at the Constitution a Nigerian president works with; there are people who will closely work with me that don’t need to be taken to the Senate. If I select people whom I know quite well in my political party, whom we came all the way right from the APP, CPC and APC, and have remained together in good or bad situation, the people I have confidence in and I can trust them with any post, will that amount to anything wrong? I have been with them throughout our trying times, what then is the reward of such dedication and suffering? They did not defect because of positions, they did not involve themselves in the pursuit of personal gains, and they accepted their fate throughout our trying moments. What is wrong if I make you the secretary (of the federal government) because I have confidence that things will go normal?”