PRESIDENT BUHARI RESPONDS TO REP.UNYIME IDEM’S MOTION
…Appoints 37 Commissioners into FCC as urged.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday heeded a call from the House of Representatives that had, sequel to a motion by Honourable Unyime Idem, urged the federal government to appoint 37 commissioners into the Federal Character Commission, FCC.
The appointment, which has Muheeda Dankaka as Chairperson of the yet-to-be inaugurated Commission, was contained in letter by the President seeking Senate’s confirmation of the appointment.
The letter naming Obonganwan Dora Ebong as the Commissioner to represent Akwa Ibom State was read by the Senate President Ahmed Lawan on Tuesday during plenary.
Recall that Hon. Unyime Idem, who represents Ukanafun/Oruk Anam Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, had on February 25 this year called on the federal government, through a motion of urgent public importance, to appoint 37 Commissioners into the FCC “to aid effective delivery of its mandate”.
Hinging on the fact that the FCC is one of the federal government agencies saddled with responsibility of ensuring implementation of the federal character principle, monitoring and enforcing proportional national spread of positions into federal public service, including political offices, Idem was particularly worried that the Commission was left with only one Commissioner, who was then holding sway as Acting Chairman, following the expiration of tenure of offices of the other 36 commissioners.
Idem, who holds sway as Deputy Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Communication, had also drew the attention of his colleagues that it was unfortunate that an agency of the federal government with such statutory responsibility had “failed to maintain its internal appointment according to the Federal Character procedure.”
Buttressing the prayers of his motion further, Idem had opined that ‘only one Commissioner cannot function efficiently and maximally no matter how brilliant and intelligent and cannot represent the interest of the different states of the federation.”
Stressing the need for the federal government to appoint the 37 commissioners “to accelerate the determination of objective of setting up of the Commission, the business mogul-turned-politician also observed that the FCC, “due to shortage of hands, cannot effectively see to development at a time, thereby foot-dragging in socio-cultural and adequate representation of each state of the federation.”
He had added: “There is huge responsibility of handling high volume of representation that one individual cannot make the decision favoraubly to all the states of the federation as required.”
The motion, which enjoyed robust contributions by other lawmakers in the lower chamber of the National Assembly, was seconded by House Deputy Chief Whip, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha.
It is hoped with the call by Hon. Idem and the subsequent appointment of the 37 Commissioners by President Buhari, the FCC is now well positioned and ready to deliver on its constitutional mandate of ensuring federal balance in the distribution of development projects, monitoring and enforcing proportional national spread of positions into federal public service, including political offices.