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Federal Character: Senate to probe Buhari’s appointments

By Ifeanyi Nwoko on 19/07/2018

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•President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki and Deputy Ike Ekweremadu
•President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki and Deputy Ike Ekweremadu

The Senate on Thursday directed its committee on Federal Character to probe all appointments of President Muhammadu Buhari, to establish alleged lopsidedness or otherwise.

The decision of the Senate followed a point or Order raised by the Deputy President of the Senate Ike Ekweremadu, alleging that Buhari’s appointments were focused more on a particular region of Nigeria.

Ekweremadu was reacting to a letter from President Buhari seeking Senate’s confirmation of the appointment of a former Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Tunde Lemo, as Chairman, Federal Emergency Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) as well as six others.

After the President of the Senate read the letter, Ekweremadu immediately raised a point of Order to challenge the appointments, saying that most of the appointments of the current administration were not in line with the Federal Character Principle.

According to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the federal character principle stipulates: “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”.

As the Senate moved to begin the confirmation of the appointment of chairman and commissioners of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa also relying on a point of order, called on the Senate to suspend the consideration.

He argued that since the Senate had agreed to investigate all the appointments of the current administration, the confirmation should be stepped down until the committee on federal character submits its report.

However, the President of the Senate over-ruled him saying that the screening should continue pending when the Committee on Federal Character submits its report.

Saraki insisted that the Thursday’s consideration of the Senate was not the final confirmation of the nominees, stressing that before they are confirmed, the Senate would already have received the report of the Characters’ committee.

The second intervention of Saraki still did not put paid to the rowdy session or the agitation as Sen. Utazi, also relying on a point of order, went on to argue that if the appointment of the Board of FERMA was kept until the Character’s commission report is presented, it would only be fair that all screenings and considerations be suspended as well until the report is presented.

Again Saraki intervened saying: “We are all just speculating, we are on the same page. Let us first get a document from Federal Character then we can take action, if the Federal Character Reports suggests that the DSP is right, then we suspend the consideration.

In a final intervention, Saraki upheld that the screening of the Civil Service Commission’s appointees be continued and directed the Committee on Federal Character to present its report in one week. (NAN)

Source News Express

Posted 19/07/2018 7:34:45 PM

 

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