Coalition to Tinubu: Follow Federal Character principle, appoint South East official to head FRSC

A Coalition, the National Civil Society Council of Nigeria (NCSCN), Wednesday, asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to, in the spirit of Federal Character principle, appoint a qualified official from the South East to head the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

Recall that Tinubu recently appointed Shehu Mohammed as the FRSC Corps Marshal to replace Dauda Biu, who was appointed by former President Muhammadu Buhari in 2022.

But NCSCN’s Executive Director at a press conference held in Abuja, Dr. Raymond Edoh, said the appointment of an official from the South East to head FRSC will comply with the Federal Character principle.

He listed the heads of Para-Military Agencies; Nigerian Police Force – IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps – Dr Ahmed  Audi, Department of State Service -Mr Yusuf Magaji Bichi.

Others are Nigeria Customs Service – Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, Nigeria Immigration Service – Kemi Nandap, Nigeria Correctional Service – Haliru Nababa, Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency – Mohammed Buba Marwa.
Economic & Financial Crime Commission –  Mr Ola Olukayode, Independent & Corrupt Practices Commission – Dr Musa Adamu Aliyu, National Food & Drugs Administration & Control – Prof Moji Adeyeye.

Speaking about the list he said it revealed that no personnel or official from the South East is head of any of the Agencies listed.

He said: “Recall that the Federal Character Principle in Nigeria was borne out of the need to ensure evenness in spreading government appointments to promote inclusion, representation, a sense of belonging and balance in the polity.

“The underlying philosophy is providing equality of access in public service representation to curb dominance by one or a few sections. The Federal Character Commission (FCC) was subsequently established by Act No 34 of 1996 as a Federal Executive body to implement and enforce the Federal Character Principle of fairness and equity.

“The Commission has achieved remarkable feats in the nation’s Civil Service in terms of employment, however, the same cannot be said about appointments of Heads of Security Agencies and Para-Military establishments over decades,’’ Edoh said.

He continued: “With the retirement of the outgone Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps last week, general expectations and healthy assumptions were that the next Corps Marshal FRSC would be considered from the South East Zone.

“Furthermore, our diligent findings show that within the 9 dispensation and 36 years of the enactment into law and formal appointments of the successive Corp Marshals, below are the official records;

“Dr Olu Agunloye. 1988 -1994., Maj. Gen Haldu Anthony Hananiya (rtd) 1994 – 1999, Danyaro Ali Yakasai. 1999 – 2000, Mr Abba Wakilbe, 2000 – 2003, Maj. Gen Haldu Anthony Hananiya (rtd) 2003 – 2007. Others include Osita Chidoka, 2007 – 2014, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi  2014 – 2022,  Ali Biu  2022 – 2024, and  Mr Shehu Mohammed (now reported to be confirmed and decorated),’’ the executive director said.

Edoh therefore appealed to President Tinubu   to encourage   National Unity and Integration, taking advantage of the retirement of Mr Dauda Ali Biu as Corps Marshal of the FRSC.

“And appoint a competent officer in the corps from the South East to balance the equation and reconfigure the architectural frame of the Para-Military agencies of our beloved country’’, he said.

Also speaking at the conference, the Director, South West, NCSCN, Mr Yemi Success, said every zone is equal and everyone is entitled to enjoy everything enjoyable.   

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