Damilola Oyedele in Abuja
The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to reflect the principle of federal character in all its appointments, and in recruitments into public offices and agencies.
This, the House said, is necessary following concerns and commentaries in recent times that there were lopsidedness and imbalance in appointment into public offices and agencies, by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration, in favour of certain zones.
The lawmakers therefore mandated the Committee on Federal Character to undertake a comprehensive overview of all public appointments/recruitments made so far, and report back to the House within four weeks on the level of compliance with Section 14 (3) of the Constitution.
The resolution followed the adoption of the prayers of a motion sponsored by Hon. Kingsley Chinda (Rivers PDP) who noted that the federal government and the Federal Character Commission (FCC) have not adhered to the constitution as there exists numerous cases of lopsidedness and imbalance in appointments and recruitment.
“Aware of the clear provision of Section14 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 that the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a state based on the principles of democracy and social justice,” the lawmaker said.
He cited some of the cases to include recent recruitments by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) appointments into boards and parastatals and the recent nomination of ambassadors.
“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 highten ethnic agitations and national insecurity,” Chinda warned.
He recalled 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.
“…Also aware of 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,” Chinda added.