Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has come under fire over his “lopsided” appointments of heads of the various security agencies in the country.
The pattern of the appointments by the President did not reflect federal character and the diversity nature of the country.
Findings showed that 14 of the nation’s 17 security agencies are currently being headed by Northerners. The majority of them were appointed by President Buhari.
Only three security agencies are headed by Southerners, a situation the groups tagged as “worrisome.”
Let’s remind Buhari:
The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to effect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few states or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies”
– Section 14 (3) of 1999 Constitution of Nigeria, as amended.
The Minister of Interior, Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd.), under whose purview are the Prisons Service, Immigration Service, Fire Service and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, hails from Kaduna State.
The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, is from Borno State. The National Security Adviser, Maj-Gen. Babagana Monguno (retd.), is also from Borno State. Also from Borno State is the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.
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The Minister of Defence, Brig.-Gen. Mansur Dan Ali (retd.), hails from Zamfara State, while the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, is from Bauchi State. The acting Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, hails from Niger State.
Also from Niger State is the Commandant-General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Abdullahi Muhammadu. The Director-General of the Department of State Services, Lawal Musa Daura, is from Katsina State.
However, the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin, is from Ekiti State in the South-West.
The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandede, is from Jigawa State, while the Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd), is from Bauchi State.
The Controller-General of the Nigeria Prison Service, Alhaji Ja’afaru Ahmed, is from Kebbi State, while the Federal Road Safety Commission boss, Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi, is from Kwara State.
Nevertheless, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, is from Cross River State.
Also, the Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ayo Oke, who was appointed by former President Goodluck Jonathan, is from Oyo State.
But the Comptroller-General of the Federal Fire Service, Joseph Anebi, also appointed by Jonathan, is also from the North.
The Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency, Sani Didi, from Kaduna State, was also appointed by the former President in 2010.
Expressing concern over this situation, the Secretary General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Dr. Joe Nwosu, said the appointments so far had not reflected the federal character as embellished in the country’s Constitution.
He said, “We have been crying out loud since the first appointments — of the ministers were made — when out of the 36 ministers, 24 were chosen from the North. Now that other Nigerians are complaining, it means we are not alone. As a tribe, we have had a long history of marginalisation from governance in Nigeria.
“The President said the appointments were made on merit, so are we now saying that only the Northerners have merit? Where is the federal character which we talk about in Nigeria?”