Appointments: My Govt Not Nepotic – Buhari

  • FG sincere on security, cattle colony

BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – Amidst growing accusations of nepotism in the public space, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday assured Nigerians that the Federal Government is sincere with its appointments and the proposed policy to address recurring herdsmen and farmers’ clashes in the country.

He said government will always be fair to all groups even as it does not intend to colonise any part of the country but only seeking to create grazing locations for cattle rearers.

President Buhari, who spoke to the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) led by its President, Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, on Thursday at Aso Rock Villa Abuja, lamented that sadly the government’s efforts are is being misconstrued as another form of colonisation.

According to the President, it is regrettable that the well-thought out policy of the federal government, conceived after wide consultations with stakeholders, has been mostly been misinterpreted by a cross section of the public.

He condemned recent spate of killings in Benue, Adamawa, Taraba, and Zamfara states, assuring that security agencies have received marching orders to bring to book perpetrators of these dastardly acts as well as all those found in possession of illegal arms in the affected areas.

“The impression created that I was sitting in an air-conditioned office and home, enjoying myself while these things happened, is dishonest. At every step, I have tried to foresee these problems because I have the experience as a former military officer who commanded three out of the four divisions of the Nigerian army, in Lagos, Ibadan and Jos”, he told the clerics.

A statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said the President Buhari further explained to the clergies that; “I am quite aware of the problems we have and I am doing my best to get law enforcement agencies to be on alert.”

He insisted that despite scathing criticisms from some quarters, his administration would always present its remarkable scorecard in the areas of security, economy and the fight against corruption.

The statement also quoted President Buhari as saying; “We have done very well on security in the northeast, when you compare what the condition was before we came in and what it is now.”

“On the economy, particularly agriculture, I am very pleased that God answered the prayers of Nigerians who prayed for bountiful harvest. People have taken advantage of federal government policies and programmes to return to the farm and they have not regretted,” the Presidential statement said.

Adesina, who also conveyed the President’s thought on the fight against corruption, said government is guided by the law in the investigation and prosecution of all graft-related cases, adding that; “People are being prosecuted systematically with evidence. If a Permanent Secretary has five houses in Abuja, two in Kaduna and one in Borno and Sokoto and he can’t account for the properties and there are bank transactions linking him to the properties, the prosecuting agencies will not have difficulties to make progress on the case.”

He, however, assured the Catholic clerics that the Federal Government would not relent in exploring and exploiting all opportunities and support initiatives to ensure peace and stability in restive areas.

On alleged non-adherence to the principles of federal character, President Buhari maintained that no ethnic group or political zone is being intentionally marginalised in the appointments made so far.

He, however, assured the Bishops that the administration will work on readjusting areas currently attracting huge public criticisms after considering the compendium of all government appointments to be submitted to him soon.

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