Buhari’s FCC nominations

IN line with his usual practice regarding postings and appointments, President Muhammadu Buhari recently sparked controversy once again when he announced lopsided nominations into the Federal Character Commission (FCC). In a letter dated March 18, 2020 and addressed to the President of the Senate, Dr. Ahmad Lawan,  Buhari nominated Mrs Farida Dankaka from Kwara State as the new FCC chairman. He also nominated 37 other board members for confirmation by the Senate. Shockingly, Buhari nominated a candidate from Taraba State as secretary of the commission, meaning that the two major positions in the commission would now be occupied by persons from the northern part of the country. But that was not all: the list of included the name of a dead former member of the House of Representatives, Tobias Okwuru Chukwuemeka.The lawmaker had reportedly died in February 2020. It will be recalled that in 2017, the list of appointments into the boards of federal agencies and corporations contained the names of five persons, namely Senator Francis Okpozo (Delta), Rev. Father Christopher Utau (Benue), DIG Donald Ugbaja (retd), Garba Attahiru (Kaduna) and Umar Dange (Sokoto).The Senate has since referred the FCC nominations to its committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs headed by Senator Danjuma La’ah for further legislative action within four weeks.

Since it came to power in 2015, the Buhari administration has serially violated the federal character principle in making appointments and, as if that was not bad enough, major departments of government have followed in its footsteps. For instance, in March 2016, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) reportedly hired 909 staff in two years without advertising the vacancies as required  by law.  Those hired in a secretive and underhand manner were children and relatives of prominent politicians, government officials, top political party leaders and other persons of privilege. The CBN, following public outrage over this apparent nepotism, spoke through its acting Director of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, admitting the secretive nature of the recruitments. It however claimed to have obtained a waiver from the FCC “to recruit people of certain classes that we used to cover the shortfall in those states” that were not well represented at the apex bank. Yet under the   principle   of   corporate   governance,  the CBN was duty-bound to make all appointments on the “basis of merit, through a fair and open selection process.”

Writing on the persisting lopsidedness in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in December last year, we noted that neither the police nor the Federal Government had denied the gross act of disdain and insensitivity to the psyche of all stakeholders in the Nigerian federation. According to reports, the North-West alone got the lion share of the appointments, with 12 indigenes from the zone elevated as Commissioners of Police, whereas the entire South-East had just one, just as 14 other states in the federation did not make the list at all.  In any case, in July 2017, many Nigerians rose against the lopsided recruitments into the the State Security Service (SSS), otherwise known as the Department of State Services (DSS), in which Katsina State alone had more cadets than the entire South-South geopolitical zone. Going by the revelations published in the media, of the total number of 479 recruits, 51 were from Katsina State alone, while 42 new cadets were recruited from the six South-South states. A sensitive security agency like the SSS neglected the federal character principle and the lopsided recruitments did grave damage to the image of the Buhari administration which claims to be fighting against corruption. Besides, there have, at various times, been allegations  of secret recruitments into the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD), Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Space Research and Development Agency, and the National Open University (NOUN,  Federal Civil Service Commission, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Rural Electrification Agency, Nigerian Navy and many more.

It is saddening that the lopsided appointments have been extended to the FCC, a body established by law to implement and enforce the federal character principle to ensure fairness and equity in the distribution of public posts and socio-economic infrastructure among the various units of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. If the FCC, which is supposed to “work out an equitable formula, subject to the approval of the  National Assembly, for distribution of all cadres of posts in the public service of the federation and of the states, the Armed Forces of the Federation, the Nigeria Police Force, other government security agencies and government-owned companies/parastatals of the states,” is itself mired in nepotism, just how can it effectively discharge its duties? How can it promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the principle of proportional sharing of all bureaucratic, economic, media and political posts at all levels of government if its leadership is geographically unbalanced?

When, in previous editorials, we deplored Buhari’s failure to appoint replacements for those whose tenure expired at the FCC, thus crippling the organisation, we in no way suggested that new appointments should be made with blatant lopsidedness. To say the least, having both the chairman and secretary of the FCC from the North violates Section 4 of the subsidiary legislation which states that: “Where the number of positions available cannot go round the states of the federation or the Federal Capital Territory, the distribution shall be on zonal basis. But in the case where two positions are available, the positions shall be shared between the northern and southern zones.”

We urge the Senate to reject the nomination of northerners as chairman and secretary of the FCC.




Buy and read digital replicas of your TRIBUNE titles by subscribing through E-VENDING

PHOTO NEWS: Suspected Coronavirus Patients Protest Treatment At Isolation Centre, Vow Never To Go Back
The patients, who trooped out from the Kwadon isolation centre, a few kilometres from Gombe town, alleged that they are starving at the centre, adding that they are not being well taken care of by the government. They marched on the highway disrupting free flow of traffic, showing their anger over what they described as… Read full story

COVID-19: Sick Emir Of Daura In Intensive Care
The Emir of Daura in Katsina State, Alh Umar Farouk, is currently at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Federal Medical Centre, Katsina due to his poor health condition. A source had told Tribune Online that contrary to a report emanating from one of the online media that the monarch was admitted since on Monday… Read full story

FG Bars CBN, PTF From Unbudgeted Spending COVID-19 Donations
The Federal Government on Tuesday issued guidelines on the management of all COVID-19 special funds and donations. In a statement issued by Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, all funds related to COVID-19 must pass through the Treasury Single Account (TSA) and must not be spent unless the National… Read full story

One Doctor Died, 32 Tested Positive After Contact With COVID-19 Patients, Says Kano NMA Chairman
Chairman of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Kano State chapter, Dr. Sunusi Muhammad Bala, on Tuesday disclosed that its association had lost one doctor to the coronavirus pandemic while 32 others have tested positive in the state. He also said that its members had resolved that they would not risk their… Read full story

Yar’Adua Reversed Policies That Hurt Nigerians When He Was President, Says Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari has described former President Umaru Yar’Adua as a patriot despite their political differences. A statement issued by Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President (Media & Publicity), in Abuja on Tuesday said as Nigerians observed the 10th anniversary of the death of the former… Read full story

Senate Wants Police Force Decentralised
The Senate has called for the decentralisation of the Nigeria Police Force and the need for community policing as a way of addressing the country’s problem of insecurity. This formed part of the recommendations of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on Nigeria Security Challenges which was considered and approved during… Read full story

All Set For Return Of 265 Nigerians From UAE On Wednesday ― Minister
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Godfrey Onyema on Tuesday disclosed that the first batch of returning Nigerians in Diaspora would arrive in Nigeria on Wednesday, May 6, 2020… Read full story

Lagos Discharges Another 60 Patients After Testing Negative For Coronavirus
The Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, announced the discharge of 60 patients from isolation centres after they tested negative for coronavirus twice. According to the governor, 40 males and 20 females were discharged from Yaba, Ibeju Lekki and Eti Osa isolation centres to reunite with… Read full story

Oyo Border Areas Porous, Extend COVID-19 Testing To Oke-Ogun, Ogbomoso ― State Assembly Tells Makinde
The Oyo State House of Assembly has asked the Governor Seyi Makinde led government to pay attention to the porous nature of the state’s borders and extend testing to those border areas. The Assembly said this call became expedient due to the continued entry of foreign nationals into the state via borders in… Read full story

179 Arrested In Lagos For Flouting Face Mask, Distancing Order, 200 Vehicles Impounded
One hundred and seventy nine suspected violators of the face mask and social distancing order have been arrested by the police in Lagos State. Over 200 vehicles were also between Monday and Tuesday impounded by the police and the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA)… Read full story

CIBN To FG: Diversify Economy From Over-Reliance On Crude Oil
The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to diversify the economy and review its policy to stir the country away from import dependence and increase non-oil revenue. A past president of the institute and keynote speaker, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, made the call at an… Read full story

COVID-19: Nasarawa Govt Begins Tracing Of 74 People Who Had Contact With Late Lawmaker
Nasarawa State Government says its response team is tracing 74 contacts of the House of Assembly member who died due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Abdullahi Sule made the disclosure while speaking at the beginning of an extended security meeting on Tuesday in Lafia… Read full story

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More