President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday Wednesday swore in new Special Adviser on Political Matters, Prof Rufai Alkali, three permanent secretaries and a commissioner in the Federal Civil Service Commission.
Speaking at the ceremony, which was held during the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the President cautioned politicians to watch what they say at all times in order to portray good politics in Nigeria.
In admonishing the new Political Adviser, President said: “As the political adviser you are like the group managing director to Mr President on political issues. You are not new; you took us round the whole country during our 2011 campaigns. So, you are already a well-known person.
“You have worked as a member of the National Working Committee of the PDP. Your appointment is key because you are the chief spokesperson of the president on political issues.
“And when one listens to some of the comments that we politicians make, sometimes could be terrible and does not portray the character of good politics. We are supposed to be nation builders.
“Even though it is extremely difficult to agree that a politician could be a statesman because we tend to be partisan, but at least in our utterances we should give Nigerians hope that this country will be together and that we must unite and we must collectively forge ahead to develop our country.
“You are very mature person and I believe that in your conduct, your utterances, your actions and inactions, you will portray a good character, a character that politicians and young people will use as role model. I congratulate you and I know you will not disappoint, not just me but all Nigerians.”
Others who were also administered oath of office yesterday include Mr. Simeon Etim as a Commissioner in the Federal Civil Service Commission, three permanent secretaries including Nanpon Danjuma (Plateau), Mrs. Binta Adamu Bello (Katsina) and Babatope Ajakaiye (Ekiti).
Speaking to Etim, Jonathan said: “From your citation you have occupied a similar office at the state level having being the chairman of your state assembly commission for two tenures. That means you are quite conversant with issues of employment and discipline.”
“You are now a member of the Federal Civil Service Commission, that is the number one body that recruits Nigerians into the Federal Civil Service. Before now the commission recruits almost everybody, but now because of the various laws, some departments and agencies of government recruit directly.”
“But the commission is key and we want to change the mentality in this country that a young Nigerian must know somebody before he gets the job. The present civil service commission is doing very well and I believe you are joining them to also imbibe the culture that people who are qualified for employment should get it irrespective of who they know.”
“No matter how highly placed you are as the president, the vice president, members of the national assembly, we were voted by all Nigerians. So we all owe all Nigerians our service and of course we must make sure that whatever is available in this country goes to everybody irrespective of who he knows.”
“That is the key and that is the message and the key component of our transformation agenda,” Jonathan said
While addressing the new permanent secretaries, he harped on the need for discipline in the system.
“One of the key problems we have in the service is that unlike in those days when people were given queries, these days the impunity is so high that nobody queries anybody.
“A system where you don’t have queries that means that there is no quality control. If any factory producing any good and if there is no quality control, definitely the product will lack the desired quality. So as permanent secretaries you must have the courage to query your directors, deputy and assistant directors if you think they have done things that deserve to be queried.
“If you need to refer to the Federal Civil Service Commission guidelines, you should do so because without discipline as a nation we cannot go anywhere,” the President said.