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Why I will not appoint ministers until September – Buhari

By The Guardian
21 July 2015   |   6:02 am
President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday,  said  that he will not appoint ministers until September, saying that such appointments "cannot and should not be rushed." Buhari made this known in an article he authored  titled, “Nigeria committed to good governance and fighting terror”,  and published by the Washington Post on Monday, July 20, 2015, before he…
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, on Monday,  said  that he will not appoint ministers until September, saying that such appointments “cannot and should not be rushed.”

Buhari made this known in an article he authored  titled, “Nigeria committed to good governance and fighting terror”,  and published by the Washington Post on Monday, July 20, 2015, before he met with President Barack Obama.

In the article, Buhari said it was pertinent for him to take his time to select the right persons to work him in order for him to put in  rules of conduct and good governance. He noted that it would not have been prudent nor serve the interests of sound government to have appointed ministers immediately after he was sworn in.

He said, “already there are voices saying these changes are taking too long — even though only six weeks have passed since my inauguration. I hear such calls, but this task cannot and should not be rushed.

“When cabinet ministers are appointed in September, it will be some months after I took the oath of office. It is worth noting that Obama himself did not have his full Cabinet in place for several months after first taking office; the United States did not cease to function in the interim. In Nigeria’s case, it would neither be prudent nor serve the interests of sound government to have made these appointments immediately on my elevation to the presidency; instead, Nigeria must first put new rules of conduct and good governance in place.

“I cannot stress how important it is to ensure that this process is carried out correctly, just as it has been crucial to first install the correct leadership of the military and security services before we fully take the fight to Boko Haram.

President Buhari explained that absence of framework for good governance and necessary systems to check the conducts of past political office holders accounted for the problems facing the country. He added that absence of the such framework  accounted for prevalence of corrupt practices and why the fight against  Boko Haram insurgency had not yielded much result.

“I cannot stress how important it is to ensure that this process is carried out correctly, just as it has been crucial to first install the correct leadership of the military and security services before we fully take the fight to Boko Haram.

“There are too few examples in the history of Nigeria since independence where it can be said that good management and governance were instituted at a national level. This lack of a governance framework has allowed many of those in charge, devoid of any real checks and balances, to plunder. The fact that I now seek Obama’s assistance in locating and returning $150 billion in funds stolen in the past decade and held in foreign bank accounts on behalf of former, corrupt officials is testament to how badly Nigeria has been run. This way of conducting our affairs cannot continue.”