Mixed reactions have trailed the recent appointments by President Muhammadu Buhari which were said not to have reflected the federal character. Three members of the House of Representatives from Delta, Imo and Plateau States give their own perspectives on the appointments made by the President.
Aniocha/Oshimili Federal Constituency, Delta State You have the names of the appointees and you know where they come from, I take back the question to you. Mr Vanguard, is there anything federal about the character, is there anything character about the federal there. Federal character is clearly stated in the Constitution, it is a general question. The layman should know what is a federal character, is it not to give to Paul what is for Paul and to give to Peter what is for Peter. Let the layman study it to know whether Peter has what should go to Peter and Paul has what should go to Paul.
Rep Bede Eke, representing Aboh Mbaise/Ngor Okpala Federal Constituency of Imo State. If you look at the appointments made so far by the present government, you will see that South East is virtually sidelined, appointments appear to be concentrated in one area. So, constituency project is conceptualised to correct the imbalance. I am surprised anybody would talk about constituency projects not being a priority. The matter is simple.
Rep Timothy Golu, Pankshin/Kanke/Kanam Federal Constituency, Plateau State In fact, it falls below the requirements of the federal character because you can see it, depending on where you are seeing whether within the military circle, or within the political circle because they are two different things. Going by state by state basis, you will discover that many states are not covered and then there are states that have one or two or three. The president may have exercised the discretion of appointing those he trusted, you need to have dependable people, you need to have people that you trust, but this is politics. If it doesn’t go round, other people will not have a sense of belonging.
I always give an example with the Yar’adua’s PDP administration. Under his administration the ANPP (All Nigerian Peoples Party) and other opposition political parties were considered for appointments. He had special advisers that belonged to other political parties. In Plateau State which was a PDP state, we had an appointee, one of our elders Alhaji Ibrahim Makande who was appointed to represent the state under ANPP. That to an extent was able to build up political unity because it also reconciled the political parties, it reduced the conflict, it brought down tension. So, we expected the President to approach these political parties for political unity.
He has the discretion to do that, he may not necessarily breach any constitutional provision. And for some political positions, the president has his own discretions, he may not have violated any constitutional provision, but for political expediency, for political unity the president should come to terms with the reality that it is not only who voted for him that should be given positions.