By Elizabeth Henrywilson
The Federal Character Commission, FCC, is a Federal Executive body established by Act NO.34 of 1996 to implement and enforce the federal character principle of fairness and equity in the distribution of public posts and socioeconomic infrastructure among the federating units of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Across the world, countries with diverse ethnic populations established peculiar policies to increase opportunities and equality and balanced representation of various groups, for Nigeria is the federal character principle.
The Federal character principle was crafted out of the need to engender and ensure evenness, representation, a sense of belonging and balance in the polity. The underlying principle is to provide equality of access in public service representation to curb dominance by one or few sectional groups, ethnic, geographic, or religious in the country’s political governance.
The present board of 38 member Commissioners and Chairman of the Commission was appointed by the then President Mohammadu Buhari in July 2020, in compliance with the provision of section 154(I) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, which was confirmed by the senate, with Muheeb Dankaka as chairman and other members.
The commissioners had hoped to contribute to the implementation of the commission’s mandate , but have since then faced difficulties from the chairman, Muheeb Dakaka, who has become a law unto herself.
The situation at the Commission has become a cause for concern, as the majority of the Commissioners, express dissatisfaction over the chairman’s leadership. There are allegations of corruption and disregard for rules and regulations, high headedness, inexperience and nepotism.
The internal strife escalated recently, as 31 out of the 36 Commissioners declined the chairman’s plenary meeting. Consequently, the Commissioners have taken measures to address and call the chairman to order, by reaching out to the President through the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and other officials but have not received any response.
Moreover, to further attest to her recalcitrant attitude in the affairs of the Commission, is the House of Representatives Adhoc Committee investigation into IPPIS and the public sector which has also implicated her in job racketeering, impropriety and nepotism.
In addition, they have submitted a vote of no confidence to the President, and refusing to attend meetings called by the the chairman. They have urged the Presidency to take action against her corrupt acts and tendencies to save the Commission from further and imminent degeneration, as a stitch in time saves nine.
The fact that the Chairman of the FCC and the Secretary of the Commission are from the North is a misnormal, which means their appointments were faulty abinitio. This should be corrected because it goes contrary to the federal character principle , you cannot approbate and reprobate .
It is therefore imperative for the federal government to take decisive action against the Chairman of FCC as soon as possible to save the image of the Commission in the interest of the country .