ABUJA – President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday inaugurated his new Political Adviser, Prof. Rufai Alkali, and a member of the Federal Civil Service Commission from Akwa Ibom, Mr Simon Etim.
The event which took place before the Federal Executive Council meeting also witnessed the inauguration as permanent secretaries of Mr Nanpam Danjuma, Mrs Binta Bello and Dr Babatope Adamu representing Plateau, Katsina and Ekiti respectively.
In a remark, Jonathan urged the political adviser to change the language of public discourse from that of division to unity of the country using his good offices.
“As the Political Adviser, you are like the Group Managing Director to Mr President in political issues. You are not new; you took us round the whole country during our 2011 campaigns.
“You are already a well-known person. You have worked as a member of the National Working Committee of the PDP.
“Your appointment is critical 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 they could be terrible and do 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.
“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 a very mature person and I believe that in your conduct, your utterances, your actions and inactions you will portray a good character.
“ A character of the politician that young people will use as role a model.’’
He called on Nigerian politicians to shun divisive utterances and politics of bitterness that cause a lot of problems in the country.
Jonathan urged them to make utterances that unite the nation even in the midst of partisanship, and called for the spirit of political sportsmanship to restore hope and unity in the country.
The President further urged the new federal civil service commissioner and the permanent secretaries to enforce discipline in the federal civil service and employ people on merit.
“The Federal Civil Service Commission is crucial and we want to change the mentality in this country that a young Nigerian must know somebody before he gets job.
“The present civil service commission, they are 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 whom they know.
“What people complain about these days is lowering of academic standards that lower the quality of the service.
“I believe you will have the courage to discipline people under you whose conducts do not reflect what is expected of a good public officer.
“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 there is no quality control.’’