NBA urges Nigerians to be patient with Buhari over appointments

The Nigerian Bar Association on Friday urged Nigerians to exercise patience with President Muhammadu Buhari over perceived lopsidedness in the appointments he has made so far.

NBA President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh, spoke to journalists shortly after reading the communiqué issued at the end of the one-week long 55th Annual Bar Conference of the association in Abuja.

Buhari, whose latest appointments were announced on Thursday, had come under fire from various quarters with the majority of those he had appointed so far being from the North and particularly his North-West geo-political zone.

But Alegeh said he believed Buhari meant well for the country and urged Nigerians to exercise patience till when all other appointments were made before criticising him for breach of the principle of Federal Character.

He said, “Probably, these are key technical positions that are being filled by the most competent available persons. But you can always compensate when you are making other ministerial appointments. I think we should all be patience and should always have trust and confidence in the people we have elected.

“We must know that the President won election with many people contributing to the election. So, let us look at the appointments he has made along those lines. I have listened to the President speak and I can see his conviction in a greater and better Nigeria.

“I am not a party man, and I am not his personal friend, but from what I have seen, I have no doubt in my mind that he means the best for Nigeria, that he will not do anything to infringe the Nigerian Constitution. But let us wait for all the appointments to be in before we start talking of Federal Character.”

In its communiqué, the NBA called for the abolition of fixed charge being paid by electricity consumers in the country on the ground that it is unjustifiable and illegal.

It recommended that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission’s policy on maintenance fees charged on meters amount to oppressive, multiple taxation and should be discontinued forthwith.

The association also called for the abolition of oil subsidy policy in view of the corruption in the process and suggested transparent harnessing and deployment of the nation’s resources.

NBA, which justified the law prohibiting same-sex marriage, said the law on prohibition of the practice “does not amount to a violation of any individual’s fundamental human rights.”

On the position of the law on the role of First Ladies, the association noted that although wives of the President and governors could contribute to national development, “there is no constitutional recognition of that office. The First Lady is to complement the duties of the President and not embark on any parallel programme already captured within various ministries.”

“Projects of the First Lady should be funded from the private sector and not from public funds,” it added.

The NBA said it would partner with government in the fight against corruption and work towards achieving a positive attitude against corruption among the Bench and Bar.

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