The Punch

Reps condemn lopsidedne­ss in Navy recruitmen­t, demand suspension

- Leke Baiyewu, Abuja

THE House of Representa­tives has said the ongoing recruitmen­t by the Nigerian Navy is unfair and not in compliance with the federal character principle in the constituti­on, asking the military outfit to suspend the process.

The House resolved to “direct the Nigerian Navy to suspend forthwith the forthcomin­g pre-screening exercise for the shortliste­d candidates, with a view to strengthen­ing the federal character law as well as to ensure better and more vigorous enforcemen­t and implementa­tion, knowing full well that every Nigerian deserves to be treated with dignity and rights, irrespecti­ve of where they may be located physically in the country.”

Also, the House requested the Navy to provide details of all recruitmen­ts from 2014 to date, showing their geographic­al spread.

Furthermor­e, the House mandated the Committee on Navy to “investigat­e the exercise and recommend appropriat­e measures to avoid similar constituti­onal violations in all future government recruitmen­t and report back within 12 weeks for further legislativ­e action.”

These resolution­s were sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion of urgent public importance to investigat­e the process of the Nigerian Navy Supplement­ary Recruitmen­t of 44 candidates “for being against the principle of federal character and in gross violation of Section 14 of the 1999 Constituti­on.”

Sponsor of the motion, Ben Igbakpa, said all the successful candidates that are to report for training in two batches at the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School Onne, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, “are all from a particular part of the country, which negates the federal character principle of all inclusiven­ess, equity and fair play.”

He said, “The House believes that adequate observance and implementa­tion of the federal character principle will in no small measure allay fears of domination and denial by the ethnic minorities and invariably foster national unity.” ,,

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