By Joy Odor
Senate has confirmed 37 out of 38 nominees forwarded to it by President Muhamnadu Buhari as chairman and members of the Federal Character Commission, FCC.
This is just as the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (PDP Abia South), kicked against the emerging situation of Nigerians from the same part of the country occupying the positions of chairman and secretary of the commission.
Abaribe who made the observation before confirmation of appointments of the nominees said the two principal positions in the commission have always been occupied on the basis of North and South.
According to him, over the years, while competent Nigerians from the North have been appointed as chairman of the commission, its secretary has 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 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 federal character itself,” he said.
But by way of intervention, the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, said the submission of Abaribe is targetted at the powers of President Buhari on nomination and appointment of competent Nigerians into public office.
He added that though the issue of balancing raised by Abaribe as regards the two vital positions of the commission is germane but perceived anomalies would be corrected in months to come.
“President Buhari is aware of the need to balance the positions and will do that when the tenure of the incumbent secretary expires in February next year.
“Mr. President , this issue has been in the public domain since the nominees were sent here for confirmation and since there is window of redressing perceived anomaly in few months’ time , I will urge us to please forge ahead with the confirmation,” he said.
Consequently, the Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan concurred to the submission by presenting names of the nominees for confirmation which were done through voice votes.
The nominees whose appointments were confirmed are: Dr. Muheeba (Farida) Dankaka, Chairman (Kwara); Hon. Henry Ogbulogo (Abia); Dr. Salihu Bello (Adamawa); Obonganwan Dorah Daniel Ebong (Akwa Ibom); Rev. Ibeabuchi Uche (Anambra); Mohammad Tijjani (Bauchi); Tonye G. Okio Member (Bayelsa); Mr. Silas Mfa Macikpah (Benue); Abba Ali Monguno Member (Borno); Mr. Nsor Atamgba (Cross River); Hon. Moses Anaughe (Delta); Chief George Afamefuna Ossi (Ebonyi); Imuetinyan Festus Member (Edo); Barr. Sesan Fatoba (Ekiti) and Mrs. Ginika Florence Tor (Enugu)
Others are: Hamza Mohammed (Gombe); Dr. Diogu Uche (Imo); Lawan Ya’u Roni (Jigawa); Hadiza Usman Muazu (Kaduna); Muhammad Awwal Na’iya (Kano); Hon. Lawai Garba (Katsina); Abubakar Atiku Bunu (Kebbi); Pharm. Idris Eneye Bello (Kano); Abdul Wasiu Kayode Bawa-Allah (Lagos); Barr Alakayi Toro Mamman (Nassarawa); and Maj. Gen. Suleiman Barau Said (rtd) (Niger).
The rest are Abiodun Isiaq Akinlade (Osun); Chief Olufemi Lawrence Omosanya (Ondo); Adeoye Abdulrazak Olalekan (Osun); Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela (Oyo); Mr. Stephen A. Jings (Plateau); Wokocha Augustine (Rivers); Abdullahi Aminu Tafida (Sokoto); Alhaji Armaya’u Dauda Abubakar (Taraba); Hon. Jibril Maigari (Yobe); Hon. Sani Garba (Zamfara); and Sen. Adamu Mohammed Sidi-Ali (FCT).
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has urged the Senate to consider and approve the nomination of Dr. Tella Adeniran Rahamon for appointment as the Resident Electoral Commissioner, REC of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, in charge of Osun State.
Also, Buhari submitted the name of James Jiya Kolo to the Senate as replacement for Mr. Daniel James Kolo, who he earlier nominated for appointment as a Commissioner of FCC representing Kwara state.
Senate President, Dr. Ahmad Lawan, who read the two letters of request during plenary, referred them to the relevant committees further legislative action.