The Senate has confirmed the nominations of Muheeba Dankaka as Chairman and 36 others as members of the Federal Character Commission (FCC) forwarded to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The confirmation followed the consideration of the report of Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter-Governmental Affairs.
However, the nominee from Kwara state, Daniel James Kolo, who died on May 19th 2020, has been replaced by James Jiya Kolo. The request from President Buhari to confirm the appointment of James Jiya Kolo was read during plenary by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
Meanwhile, the nominations of FCC chair and secretary from the same zone had been greeted with opposition from different groups, who noted that the appointments were contrary to the basic principles of federal character and the core value of the commission.
Before the confirmation, the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, raised an observation that the two principal positions in the commission have always been occupied on the basis of North and South. According to him, over the years, while competent Nigerians from the North have been appointed as Chairman of the Commission, Secretary to the Commission has always been from the south in line with section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
Abaribe called on Senators “to look at the section 14(3) of the constitution and take a decision that we cannot locate these two principal positions of FCC in one part of the country.”
Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege said the submission of Abaribe was targeted at the powers of President Muhammadu Buhari to make appointments and nominations into public office.
He added that though the issue of balancing raised by Abaribe as regards the two principal positions of the commission is germane but perceived anomalies would be corrected in months to come .
“President Buhari is aware of the need to balance the positions and will do that when the tenure of the incumbent secretary expires in February next year,” he said. He urged his colleagues to forge ahead with the confirmation, saying, “I don’t believe that we should be debating the issue”.
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, concurred to the submission by presenting names of the nominees for confirmation which was done through voice votes.