President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday in Aburi, Ghana, restated his earlier stand that he would name his cabinet before the end of this month.
Buhari, who gave the assurance at a joint press conference with Ghana president, John Dramani Mahama, told Nigerians and the international community that they were at liberty to query him if he did not announce his ministers’ appointment by the time.
“After I was sworn in, I said I will have my cabinet in September. I expect that Nigerians should ask me questions after the 30th of September if I do not do so,” he stated in response to a question on the appointment of ministers.
The president also announced that the Nigerian armed forces, in collaboration with the Multi-National Joint Task Force, had made significant progress in the ongoing campaign against the Boko Haram sect since he took over as president.
He said, “The first thing I did after I came into office was to reorganize the military and clear orders were given to them in terms of retraining, re-equipping and redeployment of troops.
“In the North East, the military is gaining ground and Boko Haram has been limited to the Sambisa Forest. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are gradually moving back home and they are being reintegrated into their respective communities.”
Explaining why he and his deputy, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, declared their assets openly, the Buhari pointed out that it was a constitutional requirement that all public office holders in Nigeria should declare their assets before and after their terms in office.
He said, “I recall that in 1975 when late Murtala Mohammed became the head of state, we were lined up – governors, ministers, members of the Supreme Military Council – and officials of Ministry of Justice were brought and every individual was made to declare his assets.
“All heads of states and government, governors, ministers, permanent secretaries have to declare their assets because it is a constitutional requirement.
“I have declared my assets four times: when I was governor in 1975, I declared; after being minister of petroleum and as a member of Supreme Military Council, I declared; when I was head of state, and now as a president, I have also declared.”
His host, President Mahama, had earlier said both of them had fruitful discussions on how to enhance bilateral relations and improve regional security, adding that Nigeria and Ghana would soon begin the process of reviving their joint commission for cooperation.
He said both leaders had also agreed to encourage closer cooperation between the intelligence and anti-graft agencies of both countries.
He thanked President Buhari for his visit and assured him of Ghana’s support and cooperation with Nigeria in the fight against terror.