A human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo, has criticized the uproar that greeted the recent government appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement Friday, Mr. Keyamo said majority of Nigerians are only interested in good governance and not the ethnic origin of a government appointee.
“The so-called ‘uproar’ over the perceived ‘lopsided’ appointments made so far by President Buhari is nothing but an orchestrated frustration of a few jobless politicians who depend only on government appointments as their means of livelihood and, of course, the noise of the latest opposition party in town,” said Mr. Keyamo.
Mr. Buhari on Thursday announced more appointments of key officials in his administration, triggering a wave of condemnations across the country with critics labeling the nominations as lopsided and not representing the federal character principle.
Babachir David Lawal, from Adamawa State, was named as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation while Abba Kyari, from Borno, was appointed the president’s Chief of Staff.
Hameed Ali, a retired colonel from Bauchi State, was named the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service; Kure Martin Abeshi, from Nasarawa State, was appointed the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service.
Other appointees include Ita Enang, from Akwa Ibom State, as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Senate Affairs; and Suleiman Kawu, from Kano State, as the president’s Senior Special Assistant on House of Representatives.
Mr. Keyamo said the decade-long general division of government positions into ‘juicy’ and ‘non-juicy’ is worrisome, adding that the mentality that the ‘juicy’ positions must be shared equally among the major ethnic groups was a contraption of the old order.
“To my mind, all government appointments pose an equal challenge to those appointed as a call to higher service of fatherland,” Mr. Keyamo said.
“All public positions come with an equal responsibility to be honest, forthright and dedicated. To go further to classify them as ‘juicy’ or ‘non-juicy’ is just a euphemism for positions that have enough money from which to steal and those that ‘dry.’
“Therefore, any agitation from a section of the country to get ‘juicy’ positions is only an agitation for their kinsmen to be appointed to steal enough from which they would benefit.”
Mr. Keyamo condemned the uproar that greeted the appointments, saying that all sections of the country should be happy with whatever position the president deems fit to offer their kinsmen.
“After all, the President still has a long way to go with appointments. He has not even filled up to five percent of available positions,” Mr. Keyamo said.