Nigerians have expressed mixed feelings over the decision of the President Mohammadu Buhari to delay the appointment of ministers till September.
Some welcomed the move, while some described it as a demonstration of lack of preparedness for governance.
Frank Tietie, a legal practitioner and chief executive of the Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights, said the president’s decision smacks of irresponsible governance.
“There are several benefits in having political appointees, like members of the board and ministers; they are able to translate the political, social and economic aspirations of the party, directly to the citizens,” he said.
“The ministers are representatives of the president in the various departments and ministries, and to think that he has not appointed ministers, yet went ahead to dissolve the boards of Federal agencies shows that he lacks a clear-cut plan in delivering the dividends of governance to the people.”
He said the president’ decision to put certain things in place would have been a genuine excuse to quickly appoint the ministers.
“It is a way of worsening the already bad bureaucracy that is currently in practice,” he said.
But program coordinator, Stefanus Foundation, a faith-based Human rights group, thinks the decision is apt, given the points enumerated by the president.
“He has said that the kinds of reforms the administration is planning need to be simple and effective,” he said.
“I have seen President Buhari also explaining that he is trying to scoop back some of the funds that have been stolen, and so at the moment it appears he has little to even run the government.
“I know that there are a lot of resources that should be spent as soon as the cabinet is put in place, if those resources are not put in place, then appointing peopel will bring a lot of frustration,” Mr. Lipdo added.
But Mr. Tietie said a mere allegation of missing funds has no basis in the president’s decision.
“It is a mere presumption that funds have been stolen, if it is true, let him say how much they are and how he plans to recover them,” he said.
“It’s more like a wild goose chase; going after an imaginary situation that funds are stolen, that could lead to witch-hunt.”
Godwin Ogboji, a legal practioner based in Abuja, also said the president acted within his constitutional right.
“Nigerians are already used to the appointment of ministers soon after the administration of any government commences,” he said.
“But that is not necessarily the issue; the constitution did not state a particular time for the appointment of ministers, it only mandates the president to appoint ministers.
“It is reasonable to me; the man has been looking for this position for a very long time, and as such he must do something very fundamental.”
Mr. Ogboji said the current crisis in the ruling party could have also informed the decision for caution on the part of the president.
“Also in the past administration and even that of Obasanjo, you would note that the ministers were mostly nominated by state governors.
“Now shortly after the president was sworn in, you would recall that states governors approached him to nominate ministers for him, but he declined, on the grounds that he does not appoint commissioners for them.
“In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with that, because the president, especially at a time like this when there is already a raging crises in the National assembly, he has to be very careful so that he can carry everybody along within the APC fold.”
He said the president needs to ensure the credibility of his cabinet member to uphold peoples’ trust.