A member of the House of Representatives, Linus Okorie has urged President Muhammadu Buhari, to redeem his reputation by abiding by the federal character principle in making subsequent appointments.
Okorie said this in an interview in Abuja, on Sunday. He explained that the few appointments so far made by the president shows little or no regard to the constitutional principle of federal character.
He also described as worrisome statements being made by members of the ruling All Progressives Congress which seem to encourage a disregard for this principle which has helped to keep Nigeria one.
Okorie quoted a leading member of the ruling APC as saying that the federal character principle as embedded in the 1999 Constitution (as amended), is not just and as such, it has no legal consequence.
He also quoted his colleague as saying the provision as contained in Section 14 of the constitution is only applicable to appointments in federal ministries.
Okorie said, “The few appointments already made by President Muhammadu Buhari do not reflect federal character but it would be in the best interest of the nation and its constitution if he redresses the error in the course of subsequent appointments, and quickly too.
“Section 14 (3) of the Constitution specifically states 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 State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”
Okorie noted that as President of the Federal Republic who is opportuned to be at the helm of affairs at this point in our nation’s history, Buhari owes it a duty to give all segments of Nigeria a sense of belonging.
He recalled that the President has so far made nine appointments noting that of this number; only one is from southern Nigeria.
The lawmaker listed the appointments to include: The new Ag. Director-General of the State Security Service, Lawal Daura (Katsina State); Acting Chairman of INEC, Hajia Amina Bala Zakari, (Jigawa State); Director, Department of Petroleum Resources, Mr. Mordecai Danteni Baba Ladan; and the new Accountant-General of the Federation, Alhaji Ahmed Idris, Kano State.
He also observed that the appointment of Mr. President’s closest aides follows a similar pattern specifically, he said, the State Chief of Protocol, Mallam Lawal Abdullahi Kazaure is from Jigawa state; Aide De Camp, Lt.-Col. Mohammed Lawal Abubakar, Kano State; Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu is from Kano state; and, Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, is the only one from the South-West.
The legislator urged the President to take into cognisance the multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of Nigeria and always remember that Nigeria belongs to all of us.
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