Northern Christian Elders slam Buhari over ‘lopsided appointments’, preach unity

Christian Elders Forum of Northern States (NOSCEF) has tasked the President Muhammdu Buhari-led federal government to match words with actions by doing away with every nepotic tendency in his administration, to enhance the country’s unity.

The Forum had joined the rest of Nigerians to thank God for the country’s 61st Independence Anniversary, 

NOSCEF in a statement signed by its Chairman, Engr. Ejoga Oyinehi Inalegwu, on Sunday described President Buhari’s Independence Day broadcast, in which he emphasised the need to unite Nigerians, as mere rhetoric if he fails to himself practice what he is preaching.

“We join the President in appealing for a united, equitable, Nigeria that is fair and just to all, irrespective of religion, tribe, origin or region. We however, add that unity must first begin from the President himself. 

“Let him unite the nation by bringing people together through appointments, that are not based on mere relationship with him or religion or any premodial considerations but competent hands, across religious, tribal and regional divides.

“In this regard, we  appeal to Mr. President to start by appointing competent indigenous Christians from his home state of Katsina into key government positions. 

“He will do more in promoting unity across religious and tribal lines by appointing not just a section to key sensitive institutions  (customs, inland revenue, accountant general, financial institutions etc), strategic ministries and parastatals so they can come together, work together in unity and appreciate themselves because of their capabilities and competencies that abound across the lines of division and not privileges  derivable by their religion or ethnicity,” NOSCEF said.

The statement further said, “We frown at the perpetuation of the terrible injustice of the past by the systematic replacement of the favored by the same group while the few others appointed are also being replaced by the already favored.”

The group reiterated that same goes for the security outfits including the Police, Army Air Force, Navy Prisons, Immigration, Civil Defence, Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Interior, etc, which should reflect the regional and religious diversity of the country.

“The President cannot preach unity and be appointing only a section of Nigerians to hold sensitive positions. 

“The president is not preaching unity when telling a section of Nigerians that  by religion, ethnicity and region they are incompetent to hold sensitive positions in his government.

“The President should preach unity in the distribution of infrastructure, in appointments to sensitive and none sensitive positions across all divides.

“For both the President and the governors, it should be noted that that the resources due all citizens under them are held in trust for all, whether they voted at all or did not vote, whether they voted for the ruling party or not. 

“Siting and distribution of projects and development should not be repayment for patronage at elections. Revenues are for the development of the entire domain of governance and should be so seen,” the group adviced.

NOSCEF emphasised that it is unfair, to on any ground, exclude states from benefiting from borrowed funds, when those states will participate in the repayment. 

The group told Buhari that it was never too late to do the right thing, by redressing past wrongs, as the results will be rewarding and the “sowing of seeds of unity and rebuilding hopeful confidence for the desired oneness of our beloved country.”

On security in Nigeria, NOSCEF tasked Boko Haram insurgents that have announced their repentant status to prove their  sincerity by facilitating the release of the Chibok girls still in their custody, Leah Sharibu and others still in captivity.