From JULIANA TAIWO-OBALONYE, Abuja
President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday disclosed that the complaints of marginalisation by all zones are responsible for the delay in the appointment of board members into some agencies and parastatals of government. He said that was why he directed the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, to do a proper analysis of the complaints received from all geo-political zones, with the aim of giving a redress through pending federal appointments.
The president said for him to have a clear conscience, he would correct all the wrongs his administration had been accused of in the federal appointments. Jonathan said this in his remarks after swearing-in seven new members of the Federal Character Commission, one member of the Federal Civil Service Commission and two permanent secretaries at the Presidential Villa, Abuja before the commencement of the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting.
The seven members of the Federal Character Commission sworn in are Diogu Romanus from Imo State; Dr. Margaret Icheen from representing Benue; Clement Adiye from Bayelsa State; Alakayi Mamman-Nasarawa State; Yerima Giade-Bauchi State; Salihu Bello-Adamawa State and Ado Ahmed from Jigawa State while the only member of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Hassan Soko-Dabo is from the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. The two permanent secretaries are Dr. Ngwagwu Clement Ilo (Delta) and Dr. Jemila Shuara (Edo).
The president, who had severally been accused of favouring people from his home state, Bayelsa and the South-South geo-political zone in his appointments, said his impression before assumption of office was that complaints of marginalisation were limited to some parts of the country. He said his experience in office had however showed that all geo-political zones complained of marginalisation. According to him, “the Federal Character Commission is very critical.
We are in an era where every geo-political zone complains about marginalisation. Initially, I thought that only some parts of the country are marginalised, but when I got here, all the geo-political zones complained that they are marginalised. “All the geo-political zones are complaining that they are not given appointments. In fact, we have some pending appointments because of that (the claims of marginalisation), I have told the secretary to the government of the federation to do proper analysis and probably to wait and accumulate the number, probably if we accumulate them (pending appointments) up to 12, when we want to make the appointments, we will make sure that all the geo-political zones get two each. “In that case, one’s conscience will be clear.
That is why some appointments are pending which I hope we will deal with this week. I think they are about 12 or so. We will make sure that all the geo-political zones are accommodated.” Jonathan urged the newly sworn in commissioners and permanent secretaries to learn to relate cordially with their colleagues, saying that remained one of the greatest problems being faced in the civil service. “One of the greatest problems we have in the service is that people fight over nothing, the relationship between one officer and the other is bad.
You must see this country as one; you must treat everybody the same way,” he said. The president also urged them to ensure they comply with the law in their day-to-day activities in office. Specifically, the president directed members of the Federal Civil Service Commission to be fair to all Nigerians in terms of employment. He said they must ensure that all states of the federation had what was due to them since some states were bigger than others in terms of population.
He asked them to do their work in a manner that they would satisfy their conscience, God and indeed Nigerians. “Members of the Federal Civil Service Commission should be fair to all Nigerians. In employing Nigerians, you must ensure that all the states have what is due to them because we also know that some states are more than others.
So when you are balancing equality of states, you must also be mindful of the population of each state. You must be aware of the laws guiding your job. “You must do your work in a way that you satisfy your conscience, you satisfy God and of course you satisfy Nigerians,” the president said.