By Yemi Adebowale
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina has noted that while it is true that President Buhari’s appointments are not yet balanced, the President will take cognisance of geo-political spread in the future.
Adesina, who made this known Friday while speaking on RayPower’s flagship programme in Abuja, said: “In terms of the spread, the thing I will also like to say is that the President has the prerogative to make appointments and he knows that there is federal character in our constitution. I’m sure he bears that in mind as he makes the appointments that will come in the future. I believe that at the end of it all, there is going to be a balance.”
Adesina then called on those criticizing President Buhari for appointing mostly northerners into his government to first look at the competence of the appointees, adding that it is the President’s prerogative to appoint whoever he pleases into his government.
Responding to the need for Buhari to make appointments bearing in mind that Nigerians of northern extraction are already leading the legislature and the judiciary, Adesina said: “Let’s not forget that some of those were by elections, some were statutorily the next person in rank. There is nothing the president can do about that. If it’s by election, what will he do about it? Because he doesn’t control the election; the National Assembly came by election.”
“For the ones he can control, there are still so many ahead,” he said stressing that any position can be key depending on the way the person appointed into the position “applies himself to that position.”
Key political positions in the country from the office of the President below are remarkably of northern extraction raising concerns from citizens as to the lopsidedness of President Buhari’s appointments since his inauguration as President on May 29, 2015.
Although some of President Buhari’s supporters have defended the appointments of northern extraction citing competence as the only issue Nigerians should be concerned about, other Nigerians who disagree have observed that there are also competent Nigerians from the southern part of Nigeria, hence the need for a balance in appointments, more so as the Nigerian constitution makes provision for federal character in all political appointments.
Below is an outlook of the Buhari government reflecting the lopsidedness in federal character within three months of Buhari’s assumption of office as President.
1. President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria – North.
2. Senate President – North.
3. Speaker of the House of Representatives – North.
4. Chief Justice of the Federation – North.
5. President of the Court of Appeal – North.
6. Chief Justice of the Federal High Court – North.