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REVEALED: How Buhari put two northerners in charge of Federal Character Commission



REVEALED: How Buhari put two northerners in charge of Federal Character Commission

President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused of violating the laws guiding the Federal Character Commission, FCC, by the appointments of Barr. Tukur Bello and Dr Farida Muheeba Dankaka, both Northerners, as Secretary and Chairman respectively of the commission.
The Federal Character Commission is the agency saddled with the responsibility of enforcing the section of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) which specifies: “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 reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to 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.”

Dankaka, who is from Kwara State, was appointed as the Chairman of the Commission at a time when Tukur, from Taraba State, was acting as the Secretary.

A senior staff of the Commission, who spoke to TIM NIGERIA on condition of anonymity, disclosed that there was a squabble on the floor of the Senate during the confirmation of Dankaka as Chairman, during which the lawmakers promised to.make things right when Tukur finishes his tenure which was then just seven months left.

But shockingly, the Presidency went behind to secretly renew the appointment of Tukur as secretary, thereby leaving the two principal leadership positions of the Federal Character Commission in the hands of two Northerners.

And critics believe that this is in conflict with the provision of the constitution, insisting that Dankaka should not have been appointed by the President because the Secretary on ground prior to her nomination, Tukur, is from Taraba State.

They argue that this pattern of appointment by the President negates the constitution, the enabling law and convention.

The Section 4 of the Federal Character Commission enabling law, Act No 34 of 1996, states that: “Where the number of positions available cannot go round, the states of the federation or the Federal Capital, the distribution shall be on a zonal basis. But in the case where two positions are available, the positions shall be shared between the northern and southern zones.”

The senior staff of the commission who spoke to TIM NIGERIA mentioned that the two principal positions of the FCC are the Chairman and Secretary and by the spirit and letters of the law, they ought to be distributed between the North and the South.

He said that even though the appointment of the principal officers of the commission have been lopsided, past administrations had managed to keep a balance between both regions.

Sharing a brief history of the appointments of leadership.of the commission from 1996 till date, he maintained that the North has occupied the chairman position all these years.

For instance, he said the chairmanship position had been held by Adamu Fika from Yobe; Alhaji Bello Kofabai from Katsina, and Professor Shuaibu Oba Abdul Raheem from Kwara since 1996.

According to the senior staff, “The Federal Character Commission was set up in 1995 and according to the law setting up the commission, it comprises the Chairman and each member from the 36 States of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT then a secretary.

“From inception, when the Chairman is from the North, the Secretary would be selected from the South irrespective of where it is from the North, be it North East, North West, North Central it doesn’t matter what part of the North.

“The Commission was headed by a Northerner from Yobe State and the Secretary then was from Akwa Ibom. And when the tenure ended, the second Chairman was from Katsina State then the Secretary was from Lagos State.

“The choice of where the Chairman should come from is a prerogative of the President. But the bottom line is that if the Chairman comes from the North, the Secretary must surely come from the South.

“Now the third Chairman was a former Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, from Kwara State and the Secretary came from Bayelsa State. And along the line, either by death or whatever… There was a time we lost a Chairman from the North and someone among the Commissioners was appointed to take over on acting capacity.

“There were so many acting Chairmen after the death but the fourth substantive Chairman, appointed by this administration, was also from the North, Kwara State. And there was a Secretary on ground who is also from the North, Taraba, to be precise.

“And the Chairman met the Secretary on ground. Ordinarily what the administration should have done was to appoint a Chairman from the South because the Secretary on ground is a Northerner but it went ahead to appoint a Chairman from the North and when the Senate wanted to clear her in the Assembly, there was trouble but around that time, it was argued that the tenure of the Secretary will soon end.

“That time the Secretary was left with only 6 to 7 seven months for his tenure to expire. So the Senate said they were going to correct it once the Secretary leaves office . But unfortunately, they now went behind to renew the Secretary’s appointment at the end of the 7 months.

“They now went ahead to renew the appointment of the same Secretary. The tenure was supposed to have ended in April 2021, but it was renewed secretly. And one funny thing is this, you know it is always announced whenever the President makes an appointment, but this time it was not announced. It was not even mentioned.

“It was secretly done. Right now the Secretary and the Chairman are from the North. Chairman I is from the North, the Secretary is from the North. Also, when there were feelers that they did it secretly, they even debated it. There is a group of lawyers that has taken the President to court on this issue. So presently he is from the North, Taraba State. His appointment was secretly renewed.”

The letter of the renewal of Tukur’s appointment recently obtained by DAILY POST, was dated 12 March, 2021, with reference: SGF. 19/S.51/T/9, signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.

The letter, entitled: ‘RENEWAL OF APPOINTMENT AS SECRETARY, FEDERAL CHARACTER COMMISSION’, said, “I am pleased to inform you that Muhammadu Buhari, President, Federal Republic of Nigeria has approved the renewal of your appointment as the Secretary, Federal Character Commission, for a final term of four (4) years in accordance with the provision of Section 9 (1) of the Federal Character Commission (Establishment) Act, 2004.

“This appointment is with effect from 10th April, 2021 and your emoluments and other conditions of service shall be as provided under “The Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc) (Amendment) Act, 2008′

“Please accept my congratulations and best wishes on your appointment.”

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Cholera outbreak in Cross River Community claims 51 lives



The death toll from the Cholera outbreak in Ekureku, Abi Local Government Area, Cross River State, has risen from 20 on Saturday to 51 on Monday.

Bernard Egbe, the clan head of the community, stated this when he received Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Sandy Onor, who was in the community to sympathise with them.



The clan chief, who described the situation as unfortunate, stated that many people infected with the disease were being treated at various health facilities in the area.

He went on to say that four of the victims being treated were in critical condition.

He stated that they had received assistance from WHO, UNICEF, and state government officials.

The cholera outbreak, which began on Thursday, affected ten villages in the Ekureku clan, he said.





Mr Onor, the PDP governorship candidate, said he felt the people’s pain but urged them to remain hopeful.

He stated that if elected, he would ensure that the people of the state have safe drinking water.
He gave cash as a consolation prize to each of the Ekureku community’s ten affected villages.




Meanwhile, Janet Ekpeyong, the Director-General of the state Primary Healthcare Development Agency, stated on Sunday that the state government is on top of the situation.





She stated that the government had used both human and material resources to stop the spread of the disease.

“The state Government has deployed a response team together with representatives from the World Health Organisation, the Nigerian Red Cross and Wash Programme.






“The combined team have all intervened accordingly and helped to save lives and prevent further spread of the disease,” she stated.







A case of the disease has also been reported in a remote village in the state’s Odukpani Local Government Area.

Iwara Iwara, Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Health, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday.







Mr Iwara stated that the outbreak was reported on Sunday night and that the government had sent men and materials to the area.






READ ALSO:Drama as Cross River State Governor locks out staff for late coming.

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Currency hawkers selling scarce new naira notes at party venues.



Despite complaints that several bank branches had run out of the small quantities of the newly redesigned naira notes allocated to them by their head offices as early as 12 noon on Thursday, large wads of the new notes have saturated party venues, with hawkers charging N200 on N1,000.





On Thursday and Friday, journalists who visited banking halls in several cities across the country, particularly Lagos and Abuja, confirmed that there was a limited supply of the redesigned notes, as bank tellers mixed a few notes with the old ones for over-the-counter withdrawals, while automated teller machines continued to dispense old bank notes.






Further investigation revealed that several bank branches had yet to receive their new note allocations, with many bank officials informing our correspondents that the new notes were still on their way.

On the other hand, at a party in Ibadan, Oyo State, on Saturday, a woman was seen freely hawking newly redesigned wads of N200 bank notes.







However, officials at some of the bank branches that still had the new notes told reporters that each cashier was given N100,000 of the new N1,000 for onward disbursement to customers seeking over-the-counter payments, and that they do not yet have the N500 and N200 denominations.








Customers were also seen depositing old bills over the counter, while cashiers at bank branches were handing out more old naira notes.

Central Bank of Nigeria had earlier clarified on its website under currency management, that it is against the law to sell currency banknotes.








READ ALSO:Massive bombing by the Nigeria Air Force hits bandit hideouts, many killed.







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6 people dead, 25 injured in a ghastly road accident in Kogi state.



The Kogi Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) confirmed that six people were killed and 25 others were injured in an accident on the Okene-Ogori road on Saturday.

Mr Stephen Dawulung, Sector Commander in Lokoja yesterday, revealed that the lone accident involved an articulated vehicle carrying 45 people and cows.






According to the sector commander, the accident occurred around noon and killed some of the cows.

The victims of the accident were taken to Ageva General Hospital in Okene, Ajunko Clinic and Maternity in Ibilo, and Ogbagidi General Hospital in Okene, according to Dawulung.






He said: “When the accident, which involved an IVECO trailer conveying cows and 45 persons down South, occurred by a graveyard just a few kilometres to Ogori Magongo along Okene-Ogori road, Kogi, our officers and men were timely in response to it.”

“Our officers in conjunction with the Police and military personnel came to the rescue and rushed the injured to four different medical centres for medical treatment. The corpses of the dead have also been deposited at the morgue of the Ageva General Hospital, Okene.”







The accident, according to Dawulung, was caused by speed, which was uncontrollable at “a sharp bend.”

The sector commander, who described the incident as “sad and unfortunate,” stated that the command would continue to carry out speed, overloading, and mixed loading enforcement and education programs.











The sector commander, who described the incident as “sad and unfortunate,” stated that the command would continue to carry out speed, overloading, and mixed loading enforcement and education programs.

He defined mixed loading as the loading of goods and passengers in trucks and other vehicles designed solely to transport goods.

He advised motorists to maintain strict adherence to road traffic regulations at all times in order to avoid such calamitous incidents.










READ ALSO:Man shoots his step-father dead while testing charm in Adamawa state









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