The presidency has cleared the air on reports stating that 81 of President Muhammadu Buhari's 100 appointees are northerners.
This is contained in a statement on Saturday by Femi Adesina, media adviser to the president.
It said the claim, published by a newspaper, was either an ignorant effort or a mischievous attempt to mislead the public and portray the Buhari administration in bad light.
"Although the publication claims to be a fact-checking reportage, what it did essentially is roughly putting together a string of misleading statements across two pages of a newspaper", Adesina wrote.
"To claim, suggest or attempt to insinuate that the President's appointments are tilted in favour of a section of the country is simply untrue and certainly uncharitable.
"First of all, the publication could not even cross the t's and dot the i's properly. For instance, the author wrongly named the Director-General, NISER, as Haruna Yerima, whereas the DG, NISER is actually Folarin Gbadebo-Smith. Again, the author wrongly identified the CEO, NDLEA as Muhammad Abdallah. However, Mrs. Roli Bode-George is the CEO, NDLEA.
"The article also wrongly named Tunde Irukera as Executive Secretary of CPP,-whatever that is – instead of Consumer Protection Council (CPC). Rather conveniently, the publication ignored mentioning that Mr Emeka Nwankpa is chairman of CPC. Not only that, the writer claimed that the Director-General of the Budget Office is Aliyu Gusau, whereas Mr. Ben Akabueze is the actual DG, Budget Office.
"Besides, the publication made not just one, but several errors on names and positions, in what could be seen as a deliberate attempt to mislead the reading public, along the lines of some intended distortions of the truth.
"There are several other appointments the publication failed to mention, which clearly shows the fair geopolitical spread of President Buhari's appointees.
"For instance, the publication didn't mention Sharon Ikeazor, Director-General, PTAD, who is from Anambra, South East; Folorunsho Coker, DG, NTDC; who is from Lagos, South West; Ituah Ighodalo, of the National Council of Privatisation, who is from the South South; Eze Duru Ihioma, Chairman, NPC, who is from Imo, South East, among many others.
"There are at least 50 names of the President's appointees that the article didn't mention that are not from the North, while there are some others that were already in place before the administration came in but reconfirmed by the Buhari administration.
"Aside from that, several names of board members/appointees from other parts of the country were deliberately left out.
"These include Senator Olabiyi Durojaiye, NCC Chairman, Sunday Dare, NCC Executive Commissioner, Jide Zeitlin, NSIA Chairman, Anthony Ayine, Auditor General of the Federation, Anibor Kragha, COO NNPC, Chiedu Ugbo, MD NDPHC, Uche Orji, CEO NSIA, Osita Okechukwu, DG VON, Yemi Kale, DG NBS and Waziri Adio, Executive Secretary NEITI, among several others.
"The attached graph shows the breakdown of current Federal Government agency appointments per state reflecting the true picture of the spread.
"Thus, the publication's inconsistencies and selective reportage are questionable, to say the least. And this is divisive with its many misleading statements that should be taken with a pinch of salt. What Nigerians need now are unity and constructive dialogue that would help the nation march forward on the right path not divisive, misleading reportage.
"It is, indeed, false for anyone to say that President Buhari's appointments are lopsided. From all records, majority of the President's appointees across different portfolios are not from the North, as the publication erroneously alleged. If the publication did not have ulterior motives, a simple enquiry from official sources in the Presidency would have prevented this unwarranted public disinformation.
"It must be stated clearly that, despite the distractions and biased reportage of this article, President Muhammadu Buhari remains committed to serving all Nigerians, no matter the tribe, ethnicity or region, and he is also determined to ensure that Nigeria remains strong and united.
"He has, and will continue to keep faith with one Nigeria and has shown this with the administration's diverse projects in different parts of the country's geopolitical zones."