Deji Elumoye in Abuja
The Senate yesterday ignored protests by the Senate’s Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, and confirmed the appointment of Dr. Muheeba Dankaka, as the Chairman of the Board of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) and 36 other members.
The nominees were confirmed after the upper chamber considered the report of the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs.
When the Chairman of the committee, Senator Danjuma La’ah, concluded his presentation, Abaribe, drew the attention of his colleagues to the lopsidedness in the appointment of Dankaka and the Secretary of the commission.
Abaribe noted that Nigerians from the same part of the country were occupying the position of chairman and secretary of the commission.
He said the two principal positions in the commission had always been occupied on the basis of North and South.
He argued that, over the years, northerners were being appointed as chairmen of the commission while Secretary to the Commission had always been from the south in line with section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“Appointment of Mohammed Bello Tukur from Taraba State in 2017 as Secretary of the Commission by President Muhamnadu Buhari, gave the impression that a new chairman would be from the South but the nomination of Dr. Muheeba Dankaka from Kwara State as the new chairman, violated the age-long principle.
“The Senate needs to look into this in the spirit of the principles of the federal character itself,” he said
But the Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, said Abaribe by his submission, was challenging the powers of Buhari on nomination and appointment of competent Nigerians into public office.
Omo-Agege agreed that the issue of balancing raised by Abaribe as regards the two principal positions of the commission was germane but expressed the hope that the perceived anomalies would be corrected in months to come.