President Muhammadu Buhari admitted on Thursday night that he had been under unprecedented pressure to release the names of his ministerial-nominees.

The President, who made a brief remark during a dinner he had with the leadership of the National Assembly, however, maintained that he would not be stampeded into releasing the list.

He stated that when he first came into office in 2015, the majority of ministerial appointees were not known to him personally.

This time round, the President stated that things would be different as he would appoint persons that he knew personally, a reason the search had continued till now.

He said, “Many at this dinner meeting are saying they want to see the list of the proposed cabinet so that they can go on leave peacefully.

“I’m very much aware about it; I’m under tremendous pressure on it. But the last cabinet which I headed, most of them, the majority of them I didn’t know them. I had to accept the names and recommendations from the party and other individuals.

“I worked with them for three and half years at least – meeting twice or two weeks in a month. So, I know them.

“But, this time round, I’m going to be quiet me – me in the sense that I will pick people I personally know.”

Buhari, who was sworn in for a second term on May 29, had yet to appoint his ministers more than a month after his swearing-in.

In 2015, the President did not appoint ministers until four months after his inauguration.

The Presidency, in a statement after the dinner, said Buhari called for cooperation across party lines in order to deepen the country’s democracy.

He also commended the National Assembly for the peaceful manner the election of presiding officers was conducted on June 11.

The statement, which was signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, quoted him as saying, “I was very pleased that people expressed their desires at the National Assembly across party lines. Neighbourliness is very important.

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