President Muhammadu Buhari says those he appointed into offices in his administration earned them.
The president said this during an interview with Arise TV broadcast on Thursday.
Buhari said he will not pick somebody to fill a particular position “just to balance up”, while neglecting those who had passed through the training and ranks.
“They trained in Zaria or Abeokuta, they come through the ranks and because they served under all the circumstances, the crises and everything and they gradually rise to the status,” he said.
“And you think, you will just pick somebody just to balance up. These positions have to be earned. There are people who have been there for 10 to 15 years.”
In recent times, critics of the president have accused him of appointing those from the northern part of the country into strategic positions.
They said the president is negating the principles of federal character, especially in the appointment of service chiefs.
Buhari said people are not forced to join the security agencies, adding that those who join have to pass through the processes.
“Just because someone would say there is nobody. If you do not join, you are not forced to join. When you join, you go through the rigmarole. You go through the problem,” he added.
When asked what he is doing to make the people of the south-east feel included in his administration, Buhari said people from the south-east are in the south-east, adding that they must pass through the process.
“You better get the list of our civil servants, if you think there are no people from the south-east. There are people from the south-east,” he said.