…says ‘my appointments strictly based on merit’
President Muhammadu Buhari says all his appointments were strictly based on merit and not on ethnic or regional balance.
Buhari stated this on Thursday during an interview on Arise TV.
Nigerians have consistently criticised Buhari for allegedly appointing more northerners in strategic positions.
The President said in the interview that he cannot jettison seniority and merit for balance and federal character.
The 1999 Nigerian Constitution states that major appointments and other privileges should be shared in such a way that it reflects Federal Character, that is balance across the 36 states.
The President added that he cannot favour those who have spent shorter years in service over those that have stayed longer.
He said, “People who have been there for 18 years or even for 10 years, they trained in Zaria or in Abeokuta, they come through the ranks.
“And because they served under all the circumstances, the crises and everything, and they gradually rise to that status, and you think you just pick somebody just to balance up? These positions have to be earned.”
But the recent appointment of the Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Yahaya Faruk, however, contradicts the President’s claim.
Yahaya was picked as COAS over many of his seniors, who have more years in service and are now to be compulsorily retired.