By Emmanuel Nduka
Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari has fiercely defended his largely presumed lopsided appointments across the Nigerian Government sphere, insisting that Nigerians have not been fair to him in their judgement.
Buhari who took this stand while speaking in an interview with Arise TV on Thursday, posited that positions in his government has to be earned with years of service and performance.
On appointments in the military, Buhari said: “These positions have to earned, some of these people have been there for 15 or 10 years. You have to pass through the ranks. You cannot just pick someone just because he is wearing a uniform with a senior rank. You pick someone who has worked with the soldiers on the field, whom they know and trust”.
In the case of several Army Generals billed for forced retirement over the appointment of a new Army Chief, the President said: “Do you know where he was serving before he became Chief of Army Staff? Maiduguri in Operation Lafiya Dole.
“You look at the NNPC, you look at the military, people who have been there for 15 or 10 years, they trained in Zaria or in Abeokuta and they came through the ranks. They served under all the circumstances and crises, and they gradually rose to the status and you think we will just pick someone just to balance up? It has to be earned”.
He also called for deliberate synergy between the Nigerian Customs and the Nigerian Immigration Service to fight the persistent trend of smuggling of petroleum products across Nigerian borders.
On his controversial tweet on treating “trouble makers in the language they understand”, he insisted that “we will organize the military and the police to pursue them. That is what we can do, and we will do it”.
Refusing to comment on the Twitter ban controversy, Buhari simply said “that (Twitter) I will give to myself”.
The President further argued that corruption is not being swept under the carpet in his administration as being speculated, stressing that “Nigerians have been unfair to him”.
On allegations of building infrastructures from Northern Nigeria into Niger, Buhari insisted that it will be good for Nigeria, as Niger would now prefer to carry their products through Nigeria instead of Benin.
“How many neighbours we have? You have to carry your neighbours along so you don’t be in trouble. If we had not being in a good relationship with Niger, Chad and Cameroon, Boko Haram would have finished us,” he added.
Sounding more threatening, Buhari said the North West would receive his fire-power very soon. “I am convinced we have done well in the North East and in the South South. But I am being overwhelmed by the North West, but they will have it soon,” Buhari threatened.
Buhari apparently referring to youths in the South East, advised leaders at the state and local government levels to “tell their youths that if they want jobs, they should behave themselves, because no one will invest in an insecure environment”.
While stating that he will continue to convince Nigerians that he is doing well, President Buhari noted that he would retire back to his farm in Daura to take care of his cows after retirement from the Villa in 2023.