Federal Character Has Been Abused, Needs To Be Reformed – Ekweremadu

Ike EkweremaduDeputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu has said the federal character principle is detrimental to national development and has called for a drastic reform.
Mr. Ekweremadu said the application of federal character in public sector recruitments has hindered the country from moving forward because its advocates are using it to give undeserved patronage to their cronies.
In a new book due for public presentation this month, the deputy Senate president said fears of marginalisation had suppressed merit in recruitments into the public service.
In the book titled “Who will Love my Country: Ideas of Building the Nigeria of our Dreams”, he said qualified Nigerians could be found in every part of the country.
“The reality is that federal character, like any human enterprise, has been abused and exploited and is in dire need of reform. Regrettably, federal character has become a euphemism for recruiting unqualified people into the public service.
“Those who engage in this conduct wittingly or unwittingly increase the polarisation of Nigeria along ethnic lines by redefining federal character to include hiring unqualified and clearly unsuitable people just because of their ethnic origin”.
Speaking further on why the concept should be redefined, Ekweremadu said: “Some people fear that employment standards have been recalibrated to accommodate the employment of people whose chief qualification seems to be that they come from a particular geographical zone.
“These employees decrease productivity, weaken our public service, and ultimately render it inefficient. Employment should, as far as practicable, be based on merit and not distorted by patronage, nepotism, or tribalism”.
While noting that federal character has played an important role in engendering national unity and promoting cross cultural interactions, Ekweremadu stressed that it had been abused and exploited.

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