Victor Oluwasegun , Abuja
The House of Representatives is set to investigate all appointments into Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) since the inception of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The lawmakers said the investigation became necessary due to public outcry over apparent lopsidedness and imbalance in recent appointments and sharing of posts into public offices by the federal government and some of its agencies in favour of certain zones.
Consequently, House Committee on Federal Character has been mandated to carry out a comprehensive overview of all Federal government appointments/recruitments during this dispensation.
The Committee that was given four weeks to carry out the assignment would ascertain level of compliance or otherwise of the MDAs with Section 14 (3) of the Constitution.
The decision of the lawmakers followed the adoption of a motion by Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers), who noted that the failure of the Federal government to comply with the federal character principles in appointments/recruitments into public offices and government agencies has negatively affected the country.
“The concern and commentaries in the recent time about an apparent lopsidedness and imbalance in appointments and sharing of posts into public offices by the federal government and some of its agencies in favour of certain zones.
“This negates Section14 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended that ‘The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice’.
“Section 14 (3) of the Constitution also made it clear that ‘The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few States or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or in any of its agencies’.
“It was towards the realisation of the above objectives that the Federal Character Commission (FCC) was established under the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc) Act, 2004, with responsibility to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the principles of the proportional sharing of all bureaucratic, economic and political posts at all levels of government.
“It is however worrisome that the Federal Government and the Federal Character Commission (FCC) have not lived up to the above mandate as there exists numerous cases of lopsidedness and imbalance in appointments and sharing of posts/offices, including the recent recruitments by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) appointments into boards and parastatals and more recently the nomination of Ambassadors, to mention but a few.
“Unless urgent and positive steps are taken to check the prevailing imbalance in the appointments and sharing of Federal Government posts, people would continue to be discontented and despondent, and this could lead to dis-unity and disloyalty, and heighten ethnic agitations and national insecurity”.
Also in its resolution, the House urged the Federal Government to comply with the Federal Character Principles in Section 14 (3) of the Constitution in all appointments/recruitments into public offices in the country.
The motion was unanimously adopted when it was put to voice vote by the Speaker, Yakubu Dogara. The Nation