The House of Representatives, on Thursday, mandated its Committee on federal character to carry out a comprehensive overview of all Federal Government appointments/recruitments during this dispensation and report back to the House within four weeks on the level of compliance or otherwise with Section 14 (3) of the Constitution.
The House, however, 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 resolution followed the adoption of a motion moved by Honourable Kingsley Chinda, entitled “urgent need for the Federal Government to comply with the federal character principles in Appointments/Recruitments into Public Offices.”
While moving the motion, the lawmaker noted with concern, the failure of the Federal Government to comply with the federal character principles in appointments/recruitments into public offices and government agencies.
According to him, “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.
Quoting Section14 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, he said that “The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a state based on the principles of democracy and social justice.”
According to him, “Section 14 (3) of the Constitution 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.”
He pointed out that it was in order to achieve the above objectives that the Federal Character Commission (FCC) was established under the Federal Character Commission (Establishment, etc) Act, Cap. F7, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 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.”
He expressed worry 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.
He further stated that, unless urgent and positive steps were 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 disunity and disloyalty, and heighten ethnic agitations and national insecurity.
When the motion was put to vote by the Speaker, Honourable Yakubu Dogara, it was unanimously supported.