There was uproar in the Senate on Thursday over alleged lopsided appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Proceedings were held up for over 30 minutes as senators mostly of the South East extraction, took to the floor to convince their colleagues that “a grave injustice had been done to the zone in the spread and headship of federal agencies and parastatals.”
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, spearheaded the protest when he drew attention to “unacceptable nominations for leadership of some federal agencies.”
Ekweremadu was particularly angry when Senate President, Bukola Saraki, read a communication by President Buhari on the nomination for appointment of Chairman and members of the Governing Board of the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA).
After the President of the Senate read the letter, Ekweremadu immediately raised a point of Order to challenge the appointments, saying that most of the appointments of the current administration were not in line with the Federal Character Principle.
Sen. Chukwuka Utazi who supported Ekweremadu’s point of order, argued that the appointments of the current administration had been so lopsided and favouring a particular region of the country
Also relying on a point of order, the Leader of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, countered the DSP’s allegation saying that he should look at all other appointments before jumping into such conclusions.
He said that even where appointments in a particular agency may seem to favour a particular region, he urged the DSP to look at all other appointments in other agencies before alleging that the Federal Character Principle was being violated.
In his reaction, the President of the Senate Dr Bukola Saraki, said that the observations could only be considered as the personal opinion of those raising them.
He argued that there was no clear document from which the senators could draw such conclusions and therefore suggested that the committee on Federal Character be mandated to carry out a comprehensive inquest on the appointments of President Buhari.
Saraki said that when the committee submits its report, then the lawmakers would have a basis to make allegations if it is established that there was need to.