The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Babachir Lawal, on Monday said contrary to the belief of many, his appointment and those of some other appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari were not based on their tribes or religion.
The last Thursday’s appointments of Lawal and five others by the President sparked off outrage among some individuals and groups who felt that Buhari’s appointments have so far been skewed in favour of the Northern part of the country.
Of the six appointments, five appointees were picked from the North while the remaining one hails from the South.
But speaking after taking his oath of office before Buhari on Monday, the SGF said he and his colleagues were not considered for their political appointments because of their tribes, faiths or political groups.
Lawal who was sworn in alongside the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina; as well as the National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), said if such factors were considered, they would not have made the President’s list.
He said Nigeria was at the threshold of achieving greatness and it is a privilege for him and his colleagues to be part of the team that would propel the country to greatness.
He promised that the new appointees would not fail the President and the country.
He added that they would serve the country with excellence and integrity.
Lawal said, “We want to thank God for granting Mr. President the vision, wisdom, kindness and boldness to consider us worthy for positions of responsibilities.
“We did not have to pass examination to get appointed into these positions; not because of our tribes, our faiths or our political groups that we were considered worthy for these positions.
“If it is such, I am sure none of us would have been considered worthy of these appointments.
“We appreciate the President and we appreciate God that He has blessed us with these privileged appointments. It is a privilege to serve Nigerians in these capacities at this point in time.
“Nigeria is at the threshold of achieving greatness and it is our honour and privilege to be senior members of the team that will propel the country to this greatness.
“We have in you (the President) and the Vice President, leaders that lead by examples, leaders that are focused, leaders whose goal is to build a Nigeria where there is liberty, security, economic prosperity and the rule of law.
“We are grateful that we are part of the team to deliver this goal. Accept our assurances that by the grace of God, we will not fail you, we will not fail our country, we will not fail ourselves, our families and our friends. By the grace of God, we will not fail you either. We will strive at all times to serve our country and to serve you with excellence, hard work and integrity.”
Buhari did not make any statement at the brief ceremony that was attended by top government officials including the nation’s service chiefs and permanent secretaries as well as some chiefs of the ruling All Progressive Congress, led by their National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun.