SENATOR Shehu Sani, representing Kaduna Central and former military administrator, Gen Buba Mohammed Marwa were on the same page yesterday on the appointments made by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The duo said those reading ethnic meanings to federal appointments got it wrong, as the ability to deliver, rather than filling quota in public office was the guiding principle.

Sani, a civil rights activist, urged Nigerians to judge President Buhari on the moral standing and capacity of those he appointed into public office rather than looking at religious and ethnic identity.

In a statement in Abuja yesterday, the senator appealed to critics to help the President build “a tower of change” by clearing the rot bequeathed by the previous government.

Tracing the upsurge in attacks on the President to sentiments rather than substance, he described as unfortunate that every issue in the country had to be subjected to ethnic interpretation.

[quote_box_left]According to him, the concern raised by the people of the Southeast on the appointment, though genuine, credible and needed to be looked into, the agitation should not allowed to be exploited by “spent forces, vultures and political dinosaurs.”[/quote_box_left]

The lawmaker said as a man who fought the civil war and staked his life for the unity and peace of the country, President Buhari “needs no lecture or homilies on nationalism.”

He said: “It is sad and most unfortunate that every issue in Nigeria has to go through the process of ethnic interpretation or religious translation or sectional categorisation and at the end sapped of its moral taste.

[quote_box_center]“It is sad and unfortunate that with over a century after amalgamation and over five decades of political independence, some Nigerians still view our union as an incest; capitalising on every mundane issue to question its morality.[/quote_box_center]

“President Buhari is neither ‘a northern President’ nor ‘King of the North’. Among those on a smear campaign against the President are notorious ethnic irredentists, chauvinists and jingoistic politicians.

“We must collectively safeguard our unity and defend our democracy from the verbal raid and oral onslaught of retrogressive forces against the currents of change.”

Marwa, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Adamawa State, praised the appointment of Babachir David Lawal, an engineer, as Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

A statement by his aide,  Bello Zubairu, quoted the former Borno and Lagos State military administrators as saying that Lawal’s appointment “is not only a plus to his tribe or state or the North but to the country.”

He described the new SGF as a thorough-bred party loyalist and philanthropist with great contacts across Nigeria.

The statement reads: “His life as an accomplished businessman, a pastor, his military background will in no little way ensure high level of discipline and impact positively on his duties as SGF.

“Lawal is a fair, straight-forward and honest man who is not a yes man. He will, no doubt, bring new sense of direction into office and as engine room of government, we are sure the president will get honest advice and as such policies will be well implemented and properly monitored.”

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