Babachir Lawal, secretary to government of the federation (SGF), says it is not easy to convince President Muhammadu Buhari, particularly on issues that could result to hardship for the masses.
Addressing reporters in Yola, Adamawa state capital, on Saturday, Lawal said the recent deregulation of the downstream sector that led to rise in fuel price was a painful decision taken by the administration to save the nation’s economy from total collapse.
He said Buhari is always on the side of the masses.
“It was a very difficult task convincing the president on this. The president is always on the side of the masses,” he said.
“The president is not easily convinced when additional hardship is placed on the people.”
He also dismissed reports that he had plans to contest governorship election in Adamawa, saying: “At over 60 years of age and my position as SGF, I should not be thinking of being a governor; governorship should be left for younger people.”
Lawal also said people have been accusing him of using his position to influence the appointments of those close to him.
He denied the allegation, saying the current administration considers merit in all its appointments.
“The whole thing is funny; they are even saying that I favour my own tribe of Kilba in federal appointments because Boss Mustafa was recently appointed the managing director of Nigeria Inland Waterways Agency,” he said.
“People need to know that Mustafa is not only well qualified for the job but also a chieftain of the party who actively participated as an official in Buhari Campaign Organisation.
“Buhari knows Mustafa’s capacity and Buhari’s appointments are always based on merit.
“If they said I engineered the appointment of Mustafa because he is a Kilba man like me, how about other appointments of Adamawa indigenes that are not Kilba.
“Another funny thing is that in Abuja, some people are accusing me of favoring Adamawa.”
He urged Nigerians to shun rumours and politics of sentiments, adding that Buhari has good plans for Nigerian and was committed to positive transformation of the country.