Enang, Oyo-Ita dis­miss claims on fed­eral ap­point­ments

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The Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant (SSA) to the Pres­i­dent on Na­tional Assem­bly Mat­ters (Se­nate), Sen­a­tor Eta Enang, and Head of Civil Ser­vice of the Fed­er­a­tion, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, have dis­missed claims of lop­sided fed­eral ap­point­ments by some Nige­ri­ans.

Enang, who spoke yes­ter­day in Abuja at a re­cep­tion or­gan­ised by Akwa-Cross As­so­ci­a­tion in the Public Ser­vice, said Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari fol­lowed strictly, the prin­ci­ples of Fed­eral Char­ac­ter in all fed­eral ap­point­ments.

“He (Buhari) has given us the Chief of Naval Staff, a very high rank­ing of­fi­cer in the Fed­eral Se­cu­rity Coun­cil. He has given us the Min­is­ter of Bud­get and then, my hum­ble self as the Se­nior Spe­cial As­sis­tant on Na­tional Assem­bly Mat­ters. He has also given us the min­is­ter of Niger Delta Af­fairs.

“In the en­tire South-South re­gion, he gave us Min­is­ter of Transportation in charge of about three min­istries merged to­gether. He also gave us the Min­is­ter of Petroleum. When I see peo­ple try­ing to in­cite oth­ers against the pres­i­dent over mat­ters of ap­point­ment, I con­clude that they are be­ing un­fair. That is why we gath­ered here today to ap­praise the ap­point­ments and to ap­pre­ci­ate the pres­i­dent,’’ he said.

Enang said de­spite the pres­i­dent’s tight sched­ule, he had vis­ited some states in the South-South to com­mis­sion projects. He added that Buhari had vis­ited Cross River State to in­au­gu­rate con­struc­tion of the in­ter­na­tional su­per high­way from Cross River to Cameroon and other coun­tries in West and Cen­tral Africa.

“Pres­i­dent Buhari also pro­vided N6 bil­lion to du­alise the road from Cal­abar to Itu, en­route Ikot Ekpene, to Aba in Abia State. Also, con­tracts for Cal­abar-La­gos rail project which will take off from Cal­abar en­route Aba, has been signed,’’ he said.

On al­leged lop­sid­ed­ness in the am­bas­sado­rial list re­cently sub­mit­ted to the se­nate for con­fir­ma­tion, Enang said the is­sue was be­ing ad­dressed.

Also speak­ing, the Head of Civil Ser­vice of the Fed­er­a­tion, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, said in­sin­u­a­tions that the pres­i­dent un­duly favoured a sec­tion of the coun­try in ap­point­ments were wrong. She said the ap­point­ments so far made by the pres­i­dent were based on merit and com­pe­tence.

“Pres­i­dent Buhari al­lows com­pe­tence and merit to be brought to the fore in his ap­point­ments and we are very happy about that. A door way has been opened for ap­point­ments based on merit. If it could hap­pen to me, it could equally hap­pen to any­one else. As civil ser­vants, go ahead, do the best you can. When you con­tinue to put in your best; you ex­cel on your jobs and du­ties. You may not know who is tak­ing note of you. At a point in time in the fu­ture, some­body would sin­gle you out and you would won­der who rec­om­mended you. So, let us con­tinue to ex­cel and prac­tice the fear of God,’’ she said.

The Min­is­ter of Niger Delta Af­fairs, Mr Usani Uguru, said ap­point­ments were not made on the ba­sis of re­gion as be­lieved by some Nige­ri­ans but based on num­ber of states in the coun­try.

“The North has 19 states and fed­eral char­ac­ter has pro­vi­sions for states and not re­gions. There­fore, un­til we carry out that anal­y­sis, there would be no au­then­ti­ca­tion to claims that the North is be­ing favoured in terms of ap­point­ments than the South. Nige­ria is not con­fig­ured on the ba­sis of North and South; it is con­fig­ured on the ba­sis of states as en­trenched in the con­sti­tu­tion,’’ he said. Uguru also debunked claims that at­tacks on oil fa­cil­i­ties car­ried out by the Niger Delta Avengers were as a re­sult of lop­sided ap­point­ments.

``We are con­tin­u­ally en­gag­ing the youths in var­i­ous ways and par­tic­i­pat­ing in other ac­tiv­i­ties to as­suage the sit­u­a­tion. We are per­sis­tent in per­sua­sion, ad­vis­ing gov­ern­ment and fol­low­ing up on the pro­grammes that should be of pro­duc­tive en­gage­ment to the youths,’’ he said

The Chair­man of Ak­waCross As­so­ci­a­tion in the Public Ser­vice, Mr Edem Bassey, said the essence of the gath­er­ing was to hon­our Nige­ri­ans from the South-South, who were re­cently ap­pointed by Pres­i­dent Buhari. (NAN)

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