The newly appointed Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Mr David Lawal, has defended his appointment and others by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying they were appointed based on their pedigree and merit and not on ethnic and religious sentiments as being speculated.
He spoke after being sworn in alongside the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno and the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa on Monday.
It will be recalled that the President last Thursday appointed Mr David Lawal as Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, while he had earlier on May 31 and July 13 appointed Mr Femi Adesina and Mr Babagana Monguno as Special Adviser and National Security Adviser respectively.
Others appointed on Thursday included Alhaji Abba Kyari as Chief of Staff to the President; Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) as new Comptroller-General, Nigerian Customs Service; Mr. Kure Martin Abeshi, Comptroller-General, Nigerian Immigration Service; Senator Ita S.J. Enang as Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) and Suleiman A. Kawu as Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House of Representatives).
President Buhari who presided over the swearing-in of the new appointees did not speak, but speaking to State House Correspondents later, the new SGF who represented others promised to uphold the integrity of their offices to ensure that a new Nigeria emerges under the present government.
His words: “We want to thank God for granting the President the vision, wisdom, kindness and boldness to consider us worthy for positions of responsibilities.
“We did not have to pass examination to get appointed into these positions not because of our tribes, or our faith, or our political groups that we were considered worthy for these positions.
“If it is such, I am sure none of us would have been considered worthy of these appointments. We appreciate the President and we appreciate God who has blessed us with these privileged appointments.
“It is a privilege to serve Nigerians in these capacities at this point in time. Nigeria is at the threshold of achieving greatness and it is our honour and privilege to be senior members of the team that will propel the country to this greatness.
“We have in you and the Vice-President leaders that lead by example, leaders that are focused, whose goal is to build a Nigeria where there is liberty, security, economic prosperity and the rule of law.
“We are grateful that we are part of the team to deliver this goal. Accept our assurances that by the grace of God, we will not fail our country, we will not fail ourselves, our families and our friends. By the grace of God, we will not fail you either. We will strive at all times to serve our country and to serve you with excellence, hard work and integrity.”