By Dennis Agbo
THE Igbo of South East extraction have raised objection against the composition of principal officers of the Federal Character Commissioner, FCC, noting that the leadership as submitted to the National Assembly for confirmation deflates the principle of federal character.
The Presidency in the list it submitted to the Senate had nominated two persons from the Northern part of Nigeria as Chairman and Secretary of the commission, respectively, contrary to the provisions establishing the Commission.
But the Alaigbo Development Foundation, ADF, in a statement, on Monday, kicked against such negation of extant provision and suggested that the Senate should in the instead award Secretary of the commission to a southern, precisely from the South East.
ADF Publicity Secretary, Abia Onyike said that the reconstitution of the Commission by the Presidency as presented to the Senate was unconstitutional and a gross violation of extant Constitutional provisions regarding the observance of Federal Character principle in appointments into Federal Boards, Parastatals and Commissions, more so, as the Commission is the most symbolic embodiment of matters relating to Federal Character principles.
Onyike said that “The Presidency made a fundamental error by nominating the Chairman and Secretary of the Commission from the North, contrary to Constitutional provisions which make it mandatory that the position of Chairman and Secretary shall be spread evenly between the North and the South or vice versa.
“The ADF contends that the Senate should correct the error committed by the Presidency by reviewing the imbalance forthwith, before confirming the nominees for the proper constitution of the Federal Character Commission.
“If the Senate fails to correct this major and fundamental error, it would send a strong signal in Nigerian public service that the idea of the Federal Character principle in Nigeria has become a ruse, moreso if the body charged with the mandate for the implementation of the Federal Character principle can be allowed to be organically defaced.
ADF appealed to the Senate to urge President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint someone from the South-East geo-political zone to occupy the position of Secretary to the Commission since nobody from the zone has ever held the position in the past.