• Accuse her of complicity

BY AHMED TUKUR, ABUJA – The Federal Character Commission (FCC) is presently embroiled with deep internal crisis that is threatening the operations of the Commission following alleged illegal recruitment by some Federal Government Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA).

Following the development, 33 out of the 37 commissioners in the Commission are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of national interest set up a fact finding panel to probe the level of irregularities by the commission’s chairman, Hajiya Muheeda Dankaka accused of granting unilateral waiver to MDAs to recruit without adherence and observance of the federal character principles.

Forefront reliably gathered that it was a rowdy session with shouting matches when the commissioners presented a 15 page document at an emergency plenary meeting of the Commission on Thursday with the chairman in attendance.

At the plenary session attended by 34 out of the 37 commissioners of the agency, one had to walk out in annoyance following the unyielding attitude of the chairman, Hajiya Dankaka. Two commissioners were absent at the plenary while one was on official assignment outside Abuja.

The commissioners representing the various states are feeling short changed as their various states are completely missing out in the recruitment exercises carried out so far thereby creating so much in-balance in the system.

The commissioners are therefore demanding for a probe of the activities of the chairman to determine the number of waivers issued by her to various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government to carry out recruitments without requisite approvals and lack of adherence to laid down rules.

A document with reference number FCC /FC/HQ/2020/001 dated November 18, 2020 obtained by Forefront indicates that the Chairman granted waivers and issued certificate of compliance without observance to federal character principle.

One of the Commissioners (names withheld) told Forefront; “We have made several attempts, individually and collectively at different times to advise and guide the chairman, and mandated a team of commissioners led by our revered leader, the Hon. Commissioner representing Niger state, Major General Suleiman Barau Sa’ad (retd) to draw the chairman’s attention but all failed.

“Misapplication of section (1) of the establishment Act as well as unwholesome arrogation of power to self by the chairman thereby alienating the commissioners, plenary and Commissions from the activities and operation/administration of the commission has become the order of the day.

“The affairs of the commission are currently being carried out with clear disregard to the provisions of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended”.

“We the commissioners are insisting that the operational committees of the commission be dissolved and a new one constituted with representation from each geographical zone.

“Unilaterally recruitment of staff for the commission which records showed surprisingly that about 50 percent of the first batch of the 16 staff that resumed as at Friday November 13, 2020 are not only from the chairman’s state of origin but all from her senatorial district to the detriment of other parts of the federating units.

“The issuance of waivers and certificates of compliance without the knowledge and approval of the plenary as required by the extent provision is absurd and unacceptable.

“This trend is bringing our noble commission to disrepute and negating the core essence of the commission which is to foster unity, fairness inclusiveness and social justice,” the commissioner said.

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