A human rights lawyer, Festus Keyamo, has faulted the anger that trailed the recent government appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In a statement Friday, 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”, Keyamo said.
President Buhari had on Thursday announced more appointments of key officials in his administration, which resulted in an uproar across the country with critics labeling the appointments as lopsided in favour of a particular section of the country and not reflecting the federal character principle.
The most contentious of the appointments was the position of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, which most public commentators and even some politicians in the president’s party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, thought would be zoned to the South-East.
But Babachir David Lawal, from Adamawa State, was named by Mr. Buhari as the SGF.
Other appointments approved on Thursday are Abba Kyari, from Borno State as Chief of Staff to the President; Col. Hameed Ali (retd.), from Bauchi State, was named the Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service; Kure Martin Abeshi, from Nasarawa State, was appointed the Comptroller-General of Nigerian Immigration Service; Senator Ita Enang, from Akwa Ibom State, as Senior Special Assistant to the President on Senate Affairs; and Suleiman Kawu, from Kano State, as Senior Special Assistant to the President on House of Representatives.
Out of the six appointments made by President Buhari in one fell swoop on Thursday, only one – Enang – is from the South.
But Mr. Keyamo condemned the public outcry over the appointments, saying 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”.
The radical lawyer stressed 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.