Four months after taking office, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to announce his ministerial nominees Wednesday. Presidential aides said the 72-year-old leader was a man of his word and Nigerians would be satisfied come Sept. 30 with the long-awaited list of cabinet members, according to Nigerian newspaper THISDAY.
“There is no cause for alarm. We are confident the president will keep his promise. He will not disappoint Nigerians on his pledge to provide good governance for the enhancement of the nation,” John Odigie-Oyegun, national chairman of Nigeria’s ruling All Progressives Congress party, told THISDAY Saturday, adding that Buhari was confident Nigeria’s Senate would swiftly approve his nominations.
Buhari, who is attending the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, has been criticized for taking too long to appoint ministers in his presidential cabinet, which remains largely empty. He has vowed to announce his cabinet list in September and said “Nigerians should ask me questions after the 30th of September if I do not do so,” according to Nigeria’s Leadership Newspaper. His presidential aides, who accompanied him to New York City this week, said the Nigerian leader will not miss the deadline.
“The president had said it twice that he would submit his ministerial list to the National Assembly in September. As you can see, that position has not changed,” Garuba Shehu told THISDAY Saturday.
Buhari, who took office May 29, has been under immense pressure to relax his high standards, but he has said appointing ministers “cannot and should not be rushed.” The former military ruler has stressed the importance of selecting the right people for the posts and said other world leaders, including U.S. President Barack Obama, took their time to name their cabinet without sacrificing their country’s functioning.
“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,” Buhari said in July, according to Nigerian newspaper the Guardian. “Nigeria must first put new rules of conduct and good governance in place.”