President Muhammadu Buhari1

Nigerians will have to wait until September for President Muhammadu Buhari to pick members of his cabinet. Writing in an article entitled “Nigeria Committed to Good Governance and Fighting Terror,” which was published on Monday, July 20 edition of the Washington Post, Buhari said that he needed time to select and put round pegs in round holes.

According to him, the delay would enable him to select the right persons and put in rules of conduct and good governance. “Already there are voices saying these changes are taking too long — even though only six weeks have passed since my inauguration. I hear such calls, but this task cannot and should not be rushed.” Rushing the process, according to him, would perpetuate corruption and failure in the fight against Boko Haram.

He continued: “When cabinet ministers are appointed in September, it will be some months after I took the oath of office. It is worth noting that Obama himself did not have his full Cabinet in place for several months after first taking office; the United States did not cease to function in the interim. In Nigeria’s case, it would neither be prudent nor serve the interests of sound government to have made these appointments immediately on my elevation to the presidency; instead, Nigeria must first put new rules of conduct and good governance in place.

“I cannot stress how important it is to ensure that this process is carried out correctly, just as it has been crucial to first install the correct leadership of the military and security services before we fully take the fight to Boko Haram.I cannot stress how important it is to ensure that this process is carried out correctly, just as it has been crucial to first install the correct leadership of the military and security services before we fully take the fight to Boko Haram.

“There are too few examples in the history of Nigeria since independence where it can be said that good management and governance were instituted at a national level. This lack of a governance framework has allowed many of those in charge, devoid of any real checks and balances, to plunder. The fact that I now seek Obama’s assistance in locating and returning $150 billion in funds stolen in the past decade and held in foreign bank accounts on behalf of former, corrupt officials is testament to how badly Nigeria has been run. This way of conducting our affairs cannot continue.”

By Dike Onwuamaeze

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