By Felix Khanoba
The Federal Character Commission (FCC) has clarified that the appointment of security chiefs by the President is not subject to the federal character principle.
It described criticisms from some quarters on the appointment of individuals of mainly northern extraction as heads of the countrya��s major security agencies as unwarranted.
The commissiona��s Acting Executive Chairman, Dr. Shettima Bukar Abba, made the clarification on Thursday in Abuja at a national stakeholdersa�� seminar with the theme: a�?Prospecting and Monitoring Strategic Processes in Nationalised Spread of Staff in MDAs.a�?
Abba said that the issue of appointment of security chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari had nothing to do with federal character principles.
His words: a�?Security issues are not those of federal character; they are only issues of federal character at the recruitment level.
a�?For example, if a Major General goes to war and dies and he is from Borno State, does that mean a Major General from Borno should replace him?
a�?These are security issues and they go through certain processes and promotion… if you subject them to federal character at the top level you are creating mediocrity in security issues.
a�?Nigerians are unfair criticising President on security appointments. It is just like the justice (judicial system), to appoint a judge you dona��t jump one particular level to another, unless you want to retire all of them,a�? he argued.
Abba said that the seminar was organised to sensitise government agencies on the need to adhere strictly to federal character principles and warned that violations would attract criminal prosecution.
He expressed satisfaction with the adherence to the principles by the Federal Government.
a�?From our records of personnel statistics, received and analysed by our Management Information Unit from January 2016 to 2018, we recorded an appreciable adherence to the application of the commissiona��s guidelines and formulae for political appointees and bureaucratic positions by this administration as all states are being represented in all forms of appointment as demonstrated by the distribution,a�? he added.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator Tijjani Kaura, stressed the need for justice in the country through the adherence to federal character principles.
Represented by Senator Suleiman Hunkuyi, Kaura, who doubled as the chairman of the occasion, canvassed strong sanctions against agencies which violate the principles.
By Felix Khanoba