From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
AMIDST criticism that has trailed President Muhammadu Buhari’s appointments so far saying they were skewed to the North, some appointees from the South- South geo-political zone have risen to the President’s defence, saying there was no truth in such allegations.
According to them, the President’s appointments followed the principles of Federal Character as entrenched in the constitution.
The President’s recent appointment of another northerner, Dr. Maikanti Kacfhla Baru as the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with six of the board members from the north, had fueled strindent criticism of his mode of appointment.
The trio of the Head of the Federal Civil Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita; the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Dr. Stephen Oru; and the Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters, Senator Ita Enang, defended the President yesterday at a reception organised for them in Abuja by the Akwa-Cross Association in the Public Service, led by the group’s chairman, Edem Bassey. The event was to appreciate the president for “his kind gesture towards the people of the two states.”
According to Enang, the Federal Government deserves the support of the people of Cross River, Akwa Ibom and people from the region because he has been very kind to them and generous in terms of appointments.
He said it was note worthy that the person who heads the workforce of the federal government comes from that zone.
He said, “He (Buhari), has given us the Chief of Naval Staff, a very high ranking officer in the federal security council. He has given us the minister of Budget and then, my humble self, as the Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Legislative matters. He has also given us the minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
“In the entire South South region, he gave us minister of Transportation in charge of about three merged ministries. He also gave us the minister of petroleum.
“When I see people trying to incite others against the president over matters of appointment, I conclude that they are being unfair, and that is why we gather here today to appraise the appointments and to appreciate the president.”
Enang noted that the president, despite his tight schedule, went to Cross River State to inaugurate the construction of the international super highway from Cross River to Cameroon and other countries in West and Central Africa.