Amid calls on him by some partisans to build a Government of National Unity, GNU, President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, said yesterday he has a higher ambition, which is to form a Government of National Competence, GNC.
In a statement, yesterday, in Abuja, Tinubu said neither religion nor ethnicity and other such considerations would determine appointments, but promised to ensure a full integration of youths and women.
National Vice Chairman, North-West of the party, Salihu Lukman, had on Friday called for religious balancing in the incoming administration, saying with a Muslim president and vice president, there was need to replace the National Chairman of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, with a Christian.
Lukman equally made a case for the zoning of the office of the Senate President to the South East/South South and that the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, and other important appointments be made with such sensitivity in mind.
However, Tinubu said: “As your incoming president, I accept the task before me. There has been talk of a government of national unity. My aim is higher than that. I seek a government of national competence.
“In selecting my government, I shall not be weighed down by considerations extraneous to abiilty and performance. The day for political gamesmanship is long gone. I shall assemble competent men and women and young people from across Nigeria to build a safer, more prosperous and just Nigeria.
“There shall be young people. Women shall be prominent. Whether your faith leads you to pray in a church or mosque will not determine your place in government. Character and competence will.
“To secure our nation and to make it prosperous must be our top priorities. We cannot sacrifice these goals to political expediencies. The whims of politics must take a backseat to the imperatives of governance.
“We have bridges and roads to build not just for commerce and travel but to connect people of different faiths, parties and different outlooks in harmonious dialogue and common purpose. We have families to feed not just to eliminate hunger but to nurture enlightenment, civic responsibility and compassion.
“We have jobs to create not merely to put people to work but to afford all a better standard of living by which families and communities are improved and democracy deepened. We have water to replenish not just to quench physical thirst but to ignite a thirst for creative and better solutions to society’s challenges.
“We have a nation to protect such that we eliminate danger and even the fear of danger. May all of our people be able to live their lives in the light of peace and the glow of broadening prosperity”.
According to him, an important step towards restoring economic normalcy has been taken by the Supreme Court’s decision on the parity of old and new notes.
He said: “This restores both the rule of law and economic decency. But this is not the end of the story. It is merely the beginning of a more comprehensive solution to our economic challenges.”