Federal Character Principle Not Mandatory For NASS Principal Offices, Says FCC

Bukola-DogaraThe Federal Character Commission on Tuesday advised the Federal Government and National Assembly to abide by its principle in the sharing of positions and political appointments.
The parastatal, which is under the Presidency, also said henceforth, no funds shall be allocated for capital projects to any Ministry, Department and Agency of government that fails to sit with its appropriate committee and obtain a “certificate of no objection”.
The chairman of FCC, Alhaji Muhammed Alkali, and Secretary, Mr. Jude Rex-Ogbuku, stated these while fielding questions on the political crisis in the National Assembly over sharing of positions and perceived lopsided appointments by the Presidency during a press briefing in Abuja.
The commission said although the federal appointments and sharing of positions in the National Assembly were contentious issues, the FCC, in its Act, anticipates appointive and not elective offices.
Rex-Ogbuku said, “The National Assembly, as you know is elective and as the chairman has said, it’s an institution and we just hope that it will pay a little attention to the federal character principle. But to say we cover them, no. We do not think that we have control over the elective positions as it is only in the areas of appointive positions that the FCC seems to be respected.
“If it is election as it is in National Assembly, they are actually at liberty but we will enjoin them ordinarily to do the right thing by following the federal character principles.
“I think the same question was asked on the appointments by the Presidency. Yes, of course, it is a constitutional provision and ordinarily and naturally, we are also to be adviser to the Presidency on the appointment of officers.
“Mind you, the Presidency is actually at liberty but is enjoined by the constitution to follow the federal character principle. We expect that in the appointments, the Presidency must ensure that no part of the country feels alienated and therefore, in the distribution, it’s expected to take into cognisance all the geo-political zones in the country, the states and where necessary, the ethnic affiliations, such that no part of the country feels that it has been alienated in the appointments.
“So, definitely the federal character principles cover the appointments that would be made or has been made by the Presidency. l will want to say that most of the appointments you have seen recently are in acting capacities as none of them have been substantiated. But then, we expect that the Presidency would do the right thing”.

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