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Row Over Lopsidedness At Character Commission

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There is currently a row at the headquarters of the Federal Character Commission over alleged failure of the Acting Executive Chairman of the Commission, Dr. Shettima Bukar Abba, from Borno State, to leave office a few days after the expiration of his tenure.

Abba, a federal commissioner, took over as acting chairman in January 2016 for a two-year term and his tenure ended on July 31, 2018, but has since allegedly refused to vacate office, an action that is causing disquiet among commissioners and staff, leading to stagnation of work.

It was expected on July 31, 2018 that the outgoing Chairman, Dr. Abba, would hand over to the most senior commissioner as directed by a Secretary to the  Government of the Federation via Circular Ref.

No.SGF.50/S.11/C.2/268,  titled “End of Tenure Processes for Heads of Extra-Ministerial Departments, Directors General, Chief Executive Officers of Parastatals, Agencies, Commissions and government owned companies and succession guideline.”

But instead of leaving office, Dr. Abba allegedly remained and has even appointed someone as his Special Assistant, a labour union leader in order to cause division among union members.

The Commission staff are calling on the Federal Government to prevail on the chairman to comply with extant laws and vacate office immediately.

But Dr. Abba, in a telephone interview with our correspondent denied the allegations, stating that since his tenure elapsed  a couple days ago, he has not performed any official duty and had cleared his office in preparation to leave, having completed his term.

Section 7 (3) of the Federal Character Commission Establishment Act, Chapter F7 of the Laws of the Federation states that “During the Chairman’s absence on leave or if the chairman is not available, or is unable to perform his functions, the President may appoint any member of the commission to act as chairman for a specified period.”

Following the expiration of Abbas’ tunure, the substantive Secretary to the Commission, Barr. Bello Tukur, who is from Taraba State, recently appointed by the President from the same Geo Political Zone with the outgoing Chairman, has directed that no files be given to the outgoing chairman because his action on such file would be null and void.

The current composition is said to be an aberration which negates the age long practice which does not allow the Chairman and the Secretary to come from the same geopolitical region.

The Federal Character Commission is one of the 14 Independent Executive Bodies established by Section 153(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and it is vested with the responsibility to promote, monitor and enforce compliance with the principles of proportional sharing of all bureaucratic,

economic, media and political post at all levels of government amongst the federating units of Nigeria.



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