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Buhari’s skewed appointments hurting Nigeria, says HURIWA

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• ‘Character commission must live up to mandate’
The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has alleged that appointments into Ministries Departments and Agencies (MDAs) by President Muhammadu Buhari are being done to favour Muslims in the northern part of Nigeria, warning that the development is hurting the country.

HURIWA, who made the comment in its reaction to recent promotions in the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) and all appointments of northerners into juicy offices since the inception of Buhari’s administration, blamed the unequal redistribution of national wealth for the worsening state of insecurity in the northern part of the country.

According to the group, Nigeria, as a federal state, was faced with the challenge of imbibing the principle of federalism in practice, as a result, a quota system was introduced into the public service in 1958 by the government “to ensure equitable representation of the various groups in the country.”

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HURIWA said that to further consolidate the gains of the quota system, the Federal Military Government of Generals Murtala Mohammed and Olusegun Obasanjo, in the drafting an approval of the 1979 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during the transition to civilian rule (1976-79), introduced into the Nigerian political and administrative landscapes, the principle of federal character. The principle sought to give “opportunities in education and employment, usually at the point of entry, to disadvantaged groups and areas to enable them to compete and catch up with more advanced areas and sectors of the nation”.

The group urged the Federal Character Commission (FCC) to live up to its mandates to oversee and monitor the implementation of the federal character clauses.

In a statement issued yesterday in Abuja and signed by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA argued that section 14(3) of the 1999 Constitution provides: “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 state or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that government or in any of its agencies.”

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The group noted that in a continued flagrant disregard to these provisions, the Buhari administration has seen deep-seated Northern Muslims domination of all strategic federal appointments, including the recent skewed appointment of two new acting deputy comptrollers-general of Customs and five acting assistant comptrollers -general of Customs, all from the North, into management position of the Service by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Alli (rtd).

“In the last five years, the current administration has planted animosity between different ethnic nationalities than even the civil war created and it will take the grace of God and the will to overpower our differences for Nigeria to rebuild the bridge of unity that the selective administrative style of President Buhari has destroyed.

“The dangers in the dominance of only Moslem northerners running all the internal security architectures– Customs, Immigration, Police, DSS and NIA– is seen in the near-collapse of the far North because elements from that side are allowed to ship in weapons and being overlooked because they are brothers but sadly that region is being destroyed,” the group said.

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