Thursday, 1 October 2015

At Last... Buhari Opens Up: Why I Sent Ministerial List Late – PMB

Ministerial List Late – PMB

President Muhammadu Buhari explained this morning why he eventually sent the list of the first batch of his ministerial nominees to the National Assembly for the Senate late yesterday.

According to him, the procedure for handing over to his government by the immediate past administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan contributed to the delay in the appointment of cabinet members.

Buhari who made this explanation in a nationwide address broadcast live on national television and radio station at 7am this morning noted that he was not unaware of the anxiety and heat generated both home and abroad by the delay in appointing his ministers.

He also hinted that he was yet to complete the nomination of ministers, saying he would forward additional names to the Senate for confirmation in due course.

“Anyway, the wait is over. The first set of names for ministerial nominees for confirmation has been sent to the Senate. Subsequent lists will be forwarded in due course. Impatience is not a virtue,” the president stated.

Explaining the delay in ministerial appointments, President Buhari restated that his administration inherited a plethora of problems that are urgently seeking to be quickly addressed if the country must move forward in terms of growth and development.

He said, “Fellow Nigerians, there has been a lot of anxiety and impatience over the apparent delay in the announcement of ministers. There is no cause to be anxious. Our government set out to do things methodically and properly.

“We received the handing over notes from the outgoing government only four days before taking over. Consequently, the Joda Transition Committee submitted its report on the reorganization of federal government structure after studying the handover notes.

“It would have been haphazard to announce ministers when the government had not finalized the number of ministries to optimally carry the burden of governance.

“Order is more vital than speed. Careful and deliberate decisions after consultations get far better results. And better results for our country is what the APC government for change is all about.”

Buhari reiterated that he bore no grudges against anybody and that his government was not after anyone.

“As I said in my inaugural speech, I bear no ill will against anyone on past events. Nobody should fear anything from me. We are not after anyone. People should only fear the consequences of their actions. I hereby invite everyone, whatever his or her political view, to join me in working for the nation. he stated.

On the problems his government inherited, Buhari said, “We have seen in the last few years how huge resources were mismanaged, squandered and wasted. The new APC government is embarking on a clean up, introducing prudence and probity in public financing.

“At an early stage, the federal government addressed the issue of salary arrears in many states, a situation capable of degenerating into social unrest. The APC government stepped in to provide short-term support to the owing states and enabled them to pay off the backlog and restore the livelihood of millions of Nigerians”.

Buhari, however, reassured Nigerians of his administration’s resolve to meticulously execute projects that would impact positively on their lives, adding that the country cannot afford any avoidable mistakes.

He implored Nigerians to be patient and team up with the government to deliver on the dividend of democracy to the citizens, irrespective of their political affiliation.

“I would like to end my address this morning on our agenda for Change. Change does not just happen. You and I and all of us must appreciate that we all have our part to play if we want to bring change about,” he stated.

The president noted that for positive change to take place, Nigerians must be ready to change their lawless habits and attitudes to public office and other government establishments.

“We must change our lawless habits, our attitude to public office and public trust. We must change our unruly behaviour in schools, hospitals, market places, motor parks, on the roads, in homes and offices. To bring about change, we must change ourselves by being law-abiding citizens,” he noted.

Buhari further noted that October 1 was a day for joy and celebrations for Nigerians despite the circumstances they find themselves “because it is the day, 55 years ago, we liberated ourselves from the shackles of colonialism and began our long march to nationhood and to greatness.

“No temporary problems or passing challenges should stop us from honoring this day. Let us remind ourselves of the gifts God has given us. Our Creator has bequeathed to us numbers – Nigeria is the ninth most populated country on the planet,” he added.

The president, however, observed that in spite of all the attributes of a great nation, Nigeria is not there yet because of the one commodity it had been unable to exploit to the fullest – unity of purpose.

“This would have enabled us to achieve not only more orderly political evolution and integration but also continuity and economic progress. Countries far less endowed have made greater economic progress by greater coherence and unity of purpose.

“Nonetheless, that we have remained together is an achievement we should all appreciate and try to consolidate. We have witnessed this year a change in our democratic development. The fact that an opposition party replaced an entrenched government in a free and fair election is indicative of the deeper roots of our democratic system.

“Whatever one’s views are, Nigerians must thank former President Jonathan for not digging-in in the face of defeat and thereby saving the country untold consequences,” Buhari said.