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Why majority of appointees so far are from the North: President Buhari

By The Rainbow
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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that his recent appointments were anchored on loyalty and trust, saying that he acted within the provisions of the Nigerian constitution.

Buhari who rose to the defence of his recent appointments criticised by many Nigerians as lopsided said the Constitution allows him full control over the choice of his closest officials.

According to him, the appointments also served as reward for those who remained loyal to him for years, who refused to be lured by power or material wealth.

Buhari, who spoke an interview with BBC Hausa on Tuesday, also commented on the prospects of finding and rescuing the Chibok girls.

It was his first direct response to the controversy generated by his first round of appointments, which is the first time in the country’s turbulent history an administration discountenanced ethnic balance in key non-ministerial appointments.

The president also spoke on Chibok girls, military gains against Boko Haram and his administration's war against corruption.

Mr. Buhari faced public outcry two weeks ago after naming the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, his Chief of Staff, head of Immigration and Customs, among others, as more all key positions went to North.

The South East geopolitical zone which provided most support for the former President Goodluck Jonathan in the March General elections has been left out of the appointments entirely.

Some analysts believe that despite the president is laying foundation for what could generate a future crisis in the country.

Buhari, in response to the lopsided appointments, 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,” he said of his critics, according to a translation of the BBC interview, by Daily Trust.

“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?”

The president in the interview as monitored by Premium Times said Chibok girls, who were abducted in April 2014 by Boko Haram, had been dispersed and were kept in units at different locations while many had been forced to convert to Islam.

According to Buhari, “They have scattered them, and are being guarded at dispersed locations. Most of the girls are Christians and were forced to embrace Islam. And the sect's cruel leaders have married some of the girls, obviously against their wish. Others have been left to practice their religion but their condition could hardly be ascertained.

“Both ground and air security personnel in the Sambisa forest could spot where the girls are, but since the insurgents have also kidnapped housewives and other women, no one could say whether they mixed them or how they dispersed them.”

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