President Muhammadu Buhari has promised that his appointments in his second term will be based on merit and national spread.
- “In the area of allocation of political offices, our focus will be on merit and national spread such that every part of Nigeria will have a sense of belonging,” Buhari told leaders of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) who came to pay him a congratulatory visit on Friday.
- He also said he would continue to push for peaceful co-existence among all Nigerians, regardless of cultural or religious backgrounds.
His comments would have been music in the ears of the CAN delegation, whose national president, Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, had earlier urged the president to keep his promise of inclusive governance as “there is no religious or ethnic group in Nigeria without qualified men and women”
Buhari’s Appointment Track Record: The president’s record on inclusion is below par.
- He has done the minimum constitutional requirement of appointing at least one minister from each state in the federation. As he said in the past, he has no choice on that – it is the law.
- But for other appointments where he has the discretion to choose from wherever he desires – like his security council appointments – he has majorly favored old Northern Muslim men.
- There is no constitutional quota for women in the cabinet. From his first cabinet of 36 ministers, he appointed just six women (despite women comprising about half Nigeria’s population). Number of female cabinet ministers has now reduced with the resignations of Amina Mohammed, Kemi Adeosun and Khadijah Ibrahim, without replacement.
- There is not a single youth in the federal cabinet where the youngest minister is the Attorney-General Abubakar Malami who is 51 years old. Even the minister of youth affairs, Solomon Dalung, is 54.
Buhari watch: The president promised during his campaigns to ensure at least 30 percent representation of women in his cabinet from the 14 percent he started with in 2015 which has since dropped.