Nigeria is a complex and complicated diversity, it spans across culture, ethnicity language religion and natural resources among others. Across its 36 states including the federal capital territory are more than 350 nations that are seeking self-...
federal, character, principle
Nigeria is a complex and complicated diversity, it spans across culture, ethnicity language religion and natural resources among others.
Across its 36 states including the federal capital territory are more than 350 nations that are seeking self-actualization and a sense of belonging in the forced yet inconvenient contraption called Nigeria. The founding fathers behind the constitution of Nigeria realized the importance of heterogeneity and inclusiveness in the making of peace and progress in the country.
It is because of the multi ethnic, religious, and cultural composition of Nigeria that the Nigerian constitution places much emphasis on the unity and harmony of the country. Specifically the 1979 constitution adopted the federal character principle to orchestrate elusive peace and stability.
The preamble to the extant constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria provides as follows: “We the people of the federal republic of Nigeria having firmly and solemnly resolved to live in peace and harmony as one dissoluble and sovereign nation under God dedicated to the promotion of inter African solidarity, world peace, international co-operation and understanding and to provide for a constitution for the purpose of promoting the good governance and welfare of all person in our country on the principle of freedom, equality, justice and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of our people , do hereby make, enact and give to ourselves the following constitution”.
The constitution was created to make amends for inter-ethnic distrust, dominance rivalry, conflicts and wars. That is why strict adherence to the principle of the federal character principle is important to our corporate existence as a nation, disregarding it is tantamount to attempting to murder our corporate existence which in essence is not only a subversion of the constitution the supreme law which the president swore to uphold but is equally an act of treason.
Section 14 (3) (4) of the constitution spells out the principle in clear terms and to ensure implementation of the federal character commission was established in 1996 to manage the pace process. Section 147 (2) gave the president the power to appoint ministers; subsection 3 makes it mandatory for the president to make appointments on the principle of the federal character.
The principle makes it mandatory that there must be at least 36 ministers with one minister from each state. The constitution also gave the federal character commission in section 8(1) (c) the power to even prosecute in the court of law any head or staff of any ministry who fails to comply with the principle of the federal character. So anybody arguing that the president can appoint and choose all the men that would work with him from one ethnic group is not only ignorant of the law but also does not value the unity and harmony of the country.
My question is, has president buhari fared well in observing these constitutional provisions in the appointments he has made, can it be said that he has valued the unity and harmony of this country. The truth be told president buhari has observed this principle of federal character in breach than in compliance. No president of Nigeria both under the military dispensation and since the inception of democratic governance has so much disregarded this principle as president buhari. These biased appointment has disrupted national unity, dislodged loyalty to the nation and has promoted mutual rancor and bitterness. The unity and harmony of Nigeria is already hanging in the balance by the virtue of the terrorists Boko haram and Fulani herdsmen. Let’s look at various departments in Nigeria and the biased appointments of their heads made by president buhari in major departments
The Department of State Security (DSS)- Yusuf Magaji Bichi (North)
Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA)- MS US MAN
National Intelligence Agency (NIA)- Ahmed Rufai Abubakar
Police Force- Mohammed Adamu, Air Force- Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar
Nigerian Army- Tukur Yusuf Buratai
Customs- Colonel Hameed Ibrahim Ali
Immigrations - Muhammed Babandede
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) - Abdullahi Gana Mohammadu
Defence Ministry- Bashir Salihi Magashi
National Security Adviser- Babagana Monguno
Nigerian Ports Authority- Hadiza Bala Usman
NIMASA- Bashir Yusuf Jamoh
Nigerian Shippers’ Council- Hassan Bello
FAAN- Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu , NCAA- Musa Nuhu
EFCC- Ibrahim Lamorde
NFIU- Modibbo HammanTukur ,
Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)- Mohammad Isah
and so on, all express the gross imbalance and dominance by northerners in an unprecedented manner. What of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)? There are 17 out of 20 management positions held by northerners in the NNPC, while the entire south holds just 3. They are from the group managing director (GMD) to director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR). They superintend over crude oil settled in Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Edo, Ondo, Imo, and Abia. Presently, I weep for the country called Nigeria.