The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina has stated that his principal will likely dissolve his cabinet before his inauguration for a second term in office.
Buhari won his re-election, polling 15,191,847 votes to defeat his main challenger and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar who garnered 11,262,978 votes.
Adesina, who spoke during an interview on Arise TV, said the president is expected to officially dissolve his cabinet at the expiration of the first tenure on May 29.
“That mandate lapses on May 29, and shortly before May 29, the president is likely going to officially dissolve his government. That is the way it is usually done.
“He says thank you to everybody that he has called to work with him and then he dissolves that government officially.
“Then when he is inaugurated for a second time, he now reconstitute a government; he appoints his personal aides, he forms his cabinet, he appoints other people to fill other positions,” he said.
Adesina further stated that Buhari’s choice of service chiefs is not subject to the principle of federal character enshrined in 1999 Constitution as amended, stressing that the principle, which was established to engender equitable distribution of appointments at the federal level among the 36 states of the federation, was not applicable to the security agencies.
Adesina’s clarification was an apparent response to widespread criticism of Buhari’s security appointments, thought to be lopsided in favour of the northern part of the country.
He explained: “It is not every position that is subject to federal character. Federal character affects the cabinet. That is why it states that each state must have a minister. But there are some other positions that are strictly at the prerogative of whoever is the president, and that includes the service chiefs. That is one area that you don’t sacrifice competence on the altar of, maybe, balance.”
The presidential spokesman insisted that security is not subjected to federal character and should not be treated as political appointment.
Adesina spoke on Buhari’s priorities in his impending second term and said the president mentioned at almost all his campaign stops that he would be focused on securing the country, reviving the economy and fighting corruption.
“It will not be limited to those three, but those three will continue to be fundamental to the government. So, if you want to objectively compare now to May 2015 when this government came, the security, you will know that there is a big and wide difference. Yes, there are still challenges, but then, those challenges are being tackled,” he said.
Adesina insisted that the government is not in denial about the security challenges in some parts of the country.