By Victoria Ojeme
ABUJA- Acting Executive Chairman of the Commission, Dr Shettima Bukar Abba, Wednesday, disclosed that Federal Character principles are not required in the appointment of service chiefs by the President.
Speaking at the National stakeholders Seminar Abba stated that Nigerians are unfair in their criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari over his appointment of the Defence, Naval, Army, Air-force, Police and other security chiefs.
His words: “Security issues are not issues of federal character, they are issues of federal character at the recruitment level.
“For example, if a Major General goes to war and dies and he is from Borno (State), does that mean a Major General from Borno should replace him?
“These are security issues and they go through certain processes and promotion…, if you subject them to federal character at the top level you are creating mediocrity in security issues.
“Nigerians are unfair criticising President on (security appointments). it is just like the justice (judicial system), to appoint a judge you don’t jump one particular level to another, unless you want to retire all of them..”
He confirmed that in recent time, “there had been a widespread unanswered national questions of inequalities, perceived marginalization, lop sidedness in political appointments and fear of domination by one ethnic group over another, one state over another. This calls for a national rebirth which necessitated this kind of sensitization seminar.
“It was on this note that he stated that the Federal Character Commission in pursuant of its statutory mandate of observing and enforcing Federal Character Principle, equity and fairness in recruitments, distribution of posts, socio-economic amenities and infrastructural facilities deemed it necessary for all our critical stakeholders to come together with a view to finding amicable solution that is in line with the Constitutional provision as enshrined in section 14 (3) and (4)”.
Acting Executive Chairman of the Commission, Dr Shettima Bukar Abba, made this known on Thursday in Abuja during a national stakeholders seminar with the theme, ‘Prospecting and Monitoring Strategic Processes in Nationalized Spread of Staff in MDAs.’
He said the issue of appointment of security service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari has nothing to do with Federal Character Principles.
While saying that the seminar was organized to sensitize government agencies across the federation on the need to adhere strictly to federal character principles, Shettima said violation of the principles will attract criminal prosecution.
He, however, expressed satisfaction with the adherence to the principles by the Federal Government.
“From our records of personnel statistics received and analysed by our Management Information Unit, from January 2016 to 2018, we recorded an appreciable adherence to the application of the Commission’s guidelines and formulae for political appointees and bureaucratic positions by this administration as all states are being represented in all forms of appointment as demonstrated by the distribution,” he added.
On his part, the Chairman of Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator Tijjani Kaura, stressed the need to ensure justice in the country through the adherence to federal character principles.
Represented by Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, Kaura, who doubled as the chairman of the occasion called for strong sanctions against government agencies that violate the principles in the country.