Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has given an indication that the government may not consider federal character for appointments into public offices as he has advised that merit, and not federal character, be considered the paramount criterion in appointments of persons into public offices.
He made the call while delivering a keynote address at the 10th memorial anniversary lecture organised by the Justice P.O.E Bassey Foundation held at the International Conference Centre of the University of Calabar, Cross River State.
He used the selection of players for Nigeria’s national football teams, as an example: “Nigerians expect the best to be chosen by the team manager or the coach in order to get the desired results.
“At that instance, nobody considers where a player or players come from. All they expect of the coach are players who merit places in the team and can get results.”
He added: “I don’t take my health for granted. So when going for a medical doctor, I go for the best not considering which part of the country the doctor comes from.
“If we take government seriously, we must as Nigerians look for merit before federal character.”
Quoting from the scriptures, Osinbajo said: “Righteousness exalts a nation,” explaining that it is a simple expression, but carries great depth.
“No society has developed that has not kept to some form of core values. Governance has to be based on principles and ideals. One of such principles is hard work. It is also critical that the work be positively directed and productive in the end,” he counselled.
According to him, one of the reasons Nigerian had not developed as quickly as other countries was because people are not paid for the hours they work.
“Most of the developed countries of the world run a system based on pay for hours worked,” he said.
Osinbajo’s remark is coming at a time Nigerians are eagerly awaiting President Muhammadu Buhari’s ministerial list.
Osinbajo however, he said though government should not ignore the federal character principle, the value of merit must come first when appointments and critical policies are up for consideration.