A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka has kicked against the extension of appointment of the Secretary, Federal Character Commission.
Chidoka who stated this on Sunday in a statement released on his social media handle, said he was not favourably disposed to the extension of the tenure of the secretary.
He recalled how he, in 2020, equally opposed the appointment of the chairman of the commission for violation of federal character principle, imploring the senate not to clear him for that reason.
Chidoka, former Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety commission berated the senate for not keeping to the spirit and letter of the federal character law which they enacted in the discharge of their statutory role.
He emphatically stated that the senate had allowed the Executive led by President Muhamadu Buhari to damage the ties that bind Nigerians together as a nation, insisting that such willful disobedience of nation’s laws and consensus would have disastrous consequences in future.
He said, “During the Senate clearing hearings, a strong argument and appeal was made in favour of clearing the Chairman who is from the North. My opposition was on the ground that the Chairman should come from the South since the Secretary to the commission is from the North.
“Those two positions were, historically and in compliance with the federal character law, shared between the North and the South. Interestingly, no Southerner has headed the Commission since its creation as both Obasanjo and Goodluck appointed Northerners as Chairmen.”
Chidoka recalled that the logic of the appeal at the Senate during the clearing, was that the Secretary to the Commission has few months to complete his four year tenure as his exit is expected to bring a Southerner as Secretary.
He said that the seemingly plausible argument was bought by the Senators and they cleared the Chairman.
“The problem now is that the Secretary Mohammed Bello Tukur, whose tenure ends on April, 7, 2021 is now lobbying for extension of his tenure for another four years.
“There are strong rumors he may have been granted another four years term. This would be wrong and a flagrant abuse and disobedience of the Federal Character Law.
“If we are to follow the federal character principle, the President should appoint a South Easterner as the Secretary of the Commission. The last two southerners to hold that position were from the South South and South West.” Ike Obosi stressed.
Continuing, the former FRSC boss said that the reason he laboured to remind everybody about the Federal character law is that it is one of the major consensus of political leaders to give every Nigerian a sense of belonging in the march to nationhood.
“Federal character does not exclude merit. It is a nation building strategy that should take the best from every zone to create a pan Nigerian outlook in our public institutions. Someday we will out grow the need for zoning and federal character but for now we should respect it. Like the great Zik of Africa said “No condition is permanent.” Chidoka concluded.