Enang: It’s unfair to criticise Buhari… he has given many appointments to the south

Ita Enang, senior special assistant (SSA) to the president
on national assembly matters (senate), says it is unfair to
accuse President Muhammadu Buhari of lopsidedness in
terms of appointments.
Buhari has distanced himself from nepotism, vowing not to
marginalise any section in the country.
However, the discussions on pro-north appointments were
rekindled following the announcement of Maikanti Baru as
group managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation (NNPC).
Reacting to this, Enang defended the president, saying
Buhari has followed the principle of federal character in all
The presidential adviser said his boss considers merit
before picking people, adding that Buhari has selected
capable hands from the southern part of the country.
Enang was speaking on Wednesday in Abuja at a reception
organised by Akwa-Cross Association in the Public Service.
“He (Buhari) has given us the chief of naval staff, a very
high-ranking officer in the federal security council,” he said.
“He has given us the minister of budget and then, my
humble self as the senior special assistant on national
assembly 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 ministries merged
together. 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.”
Enang said despite the president’s tight schedule, he had
visited some states in the south-south to
inaugurate projects.
He added that Buhari had visited Cross River State to
inaugurate construction of the international super highway
from Cross River to Cameroon and other countries in West
and Central Africa.
“President Buhari also provided N6 billion to dualise the
road from Calabar to Itu, enroute Ikot Ekpene, to Aba in Abia
state,” he said.
“Also, contracts for Calabar-Lagos rail project which will
take off from Calabar enroute Aba, has been signed.”
On alleged lopsidedness in the ambassadorial list recently
submitted to the senate for confirmation, Enang said the
issue was being addressed.
Also speaking, Winifred Oyo-Ita, head of civil service of the
federation, said insinuations that the president unduly
favoured a section of the country in appointments were
She said that the appointments so far made by the president
were based on merit and competence.
“President Buhari allows competence and merit to be
brought to the fore in his appointments and we are very
happy about that,” she said.
“A door way has been opened for appointments based on
merit. If it could happen to me, it could equally happen to
anyone else.
“As civil servants, go ahead, do the best you can. When you
continue to put in your best, you excel on your jobs and
duties. You may not know who is taking note of you.
“At a point in time in the future, somebody would single you
out and you would wonder who recommended you. So, let
us continue to excel and practice the fear of God.”
Usani Uguru, minister of Niger Delta affairs, said
appointments were not made on the basis of region as
believed by some Nigerians but based on number of states
in the country.
“The north has 19 states and federal character has
provisions for states and not regions,” he said.
“Therefore, until we carry out that analysis, there would be
no authentication to claims that thenNorth is being
favoured in terms of appointments than the south.
“Nigeria is not configured on the basis of north and south; it
is configured on the basis of states as entrenched in the
Uguru also debunked claims that attacks on oil facilities
carried out by the Niger Delta Avengers were as a result of
lopsided appointments.
“We are continually engaging the youths in various ways
and participating in other activities to assuage the
situation,” he said.
“We are persistent in persuasion, advising government and
following up on the programmes that should be of
productive engagement to the youths.”

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