Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says the appointment of Nigeria’s service chiefs is not in line with the Federal Character principle as provided by the Constitution.
The former President who said this on Thursday at an even in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, noted that appointment into major offices must be fairly distributed across the country.
“The Federal Character principle, as espoused in our Constitution, was to guide the leadership to search for competent holders of major offices to be distributed within the entire nation,” he said.
According to Obasanjo, the essence is also to “avoid the concentration in a few ethnic hands or geographical places, as we currently have in the leadership of our security apparatus.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had been criticised over alleged lopsidedness in his appointments which some claimed mostly favoured the northerners.
The Presidency swiftly responded in a statement, saying: “It is, indeed, false for anyone to say that President Buhari’s appointments are lopsided. From all records, majority of the President’s appointees across different portfolios are not from the North.”
But former President Obasanjo had also criticised President Buhari’s government and called for a movement which he said would help to save Nigeria from its challenges.
One week after he made the call in a statement, a group – the Coalition for Nigeria Movement – launch on Wednesday in Abuja.
The former President, who also registered as a member of the movement on Thursday, said adequate attention was not being given to nation building.
He pointed out nation building as one of the important areas in the country that should be given priority with improved attention.
“We seem to have taken nation building for granted. Nation building must be given continued attention to give every citizen a feeling of belonging and a stake in his or her country,” he said.