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Adegboruwa, Keyamo disagree on Buhari’s appointments

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HUMAN rights lawyers, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa and Festus Keyamo, have taken different paths concerning the uproar that greeted President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent appointments.

Adegboruwa described the appointments as disregard for unity and progress of the country and wants them reversed, saying: “I believe it is totally wrong to concentrate all major appointments in just one section of the country, in this case the north.

“Virtually all major positions, from the President to the National Assembly, judiciary, financial sector and the armed forces, among others, are mostly occupied by candidates from the north in total disregard of the provisions of the constitution.

“It is envisaged that in the course of running the affairs of the country, the President will carry the entire sections of the country along, especially in very sensitive appointments. With the latest appointments of his Chief of Staff, Secretary to the Federal Government, heads of Immigration and Customs coming from the north, the general feeling is that the President is ruling on behalf of a particular section of the country and does not care about the feelings or concerns of the other sections.”

According to him, section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution stipulates that major appointments should not be concentrated in any particular section or region of the country, and that “all actions of government should give due observance to the principle of federal character and the equitable distribution of all positions to give a sense of belonging to every section of the country.

“Furthermore, section 42 of the Constitution prohibits any form of discrimination on the grounds of race or geographical location. These and other constitutional provisions have been wantonly disregarded by the President since he came into office.”

On his part, however, Keyamo sees nothing wrong with the appointments, insisting rather that it was “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.”

To him, the majority of Nigerians want to see good governance and care less about the ethnic origin of those appointed into positions.

He said: “My worry is that the decade-long general categorisation of government positions as ‘juicy’ and ‘non-juicy’, and the mentality that these few ‘juicy”’ positions must be shared equally among the major ethnic groups was nothing but a contraption of the old order from which we have just liberated ourselves.

“To my mind, all government appointments pose equal challenge to those appointed as a call to higher service of fatherland. 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 are ‘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.

“I unreservedly condemn, in the strongest of terms, the so-called ‘uproar’ about ‘juicy positions’ going only to a section of this country. All sections should be happy and content with whatever positions the President deems fit, at the end of the day, to give to their kinsmen.”

He reminded Nigerians that Buhari still has a long way to go with his appointments, having not filled up to five per cent of available positions.


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