With the uproar that greeted the appointment of Farouk Yahaya as the Chief of Army Staff and other appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari since he assumed office as President in 2015, he has come out to state that all appointments he has made so far are strictly based on merit and not based on ethnic or regional balance.
The President stated this on Thursday during an interview with Arise TV.
President Buhari has been criticized for allegedly appointing more northerners in strategic positions. In that interview with Arise TV, the President said he cannot jettison seniority and merit for balance and federal character.
The Nigerian Constitution states that major appointments and other privileges should be shared in such a way that it reflects Federal Character.
The President said: “People who have been there for 18 years or even for 10 years, they trained in Zaria or in Abeokuta, they come through the ranks.
“And because they served under all the circumstances, the crises and everything and they gradually rise to that status and you think you just pick somebody just to balance up? These positions have to be earned.”
The recent appointment of the Chief of Army Staff, Yahaya Faruk contradicts the statement made by the President about his appointments so far. Yahaya was picked over 29 other senior officers who have more years in service and are now to be forced into retirement.
Yahaya is a Northerner like President Buhari, just like the late immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Attahiru and people are saying that he picked him because of his ethnicity and not merit.