President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed to Nigerians for calm and has assured he will not marginalise any section of the country in subsequent appointments, the president’s senior special assistant on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, said Saturday.
Mr. Shehu said the appointments made so far were a “tip of an iceberg”, as more were coming.
“Our brothers and sisters and fellow countrymen should bear with the new administration as it takes its measured steps towards an effective take off,” he said in a statement.
The plea followed a firestorm of criticism from Nigerians over President Buhari’s apparently lopsided appointments yet.
Since taking office on May 29, the president has appointed 29 key officials to man Nigeria’s economic, energy, defence and other important sectors.
In all, the president has yet to appoint a female, drawing anger from gender activists.
What has alarmed critics more is the apparent lack of regional balance in the appointments, a failing Mr. Buhari has been vigorously criticised for in the past.
Details tabulated Thursday by PREMIUM TIMES showed that Mr. Buhari appointed by far more officials from Nigeria’s northern region where he comes from, in violation of federal character law.
The chart showed that only 25 per cent of the president’s appointments are from the south while an overwhelming 75 per cent are the north.
Also, Mr. Buhari’s North West geopolitical zone, has the largest share of 43 per cent, while the South East for instance, has no appointee.
Mr. Shehu said the appointments made so far are those of security establishments and personal aides of the president.
“These appointments are just beginning. The ones down so far, apart from the security services, are mostly of people acting as unofficial advisers or staff of the President. They are mostly men and women who have been doing things for the president and the positions are being formalized.
“Statistically, the appointments don’t amount to five percent of what is to come.
“There will come ministers, heads of government departments, federal boards and ambassadors.
“At the end of the exercise, no part of the country will be left feeling left out,” said Mr. Shehu.
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