by Christiana Gokyo, Jos
A call for “inclusive and equitable governance” has been made to address the increasing agitations arising from perceived marginalization and injustice against some states and sections of the country, both in terms of employment, appointments and allocation of infrastructure and presence of government.
The call was made by Senator Istifanus D. Gyang of Plateau North and Deputy Chairman Senate Committee on Defence at a two-day Conference on the Mandate of the Federal Character Commission and its role in Nation Building, which held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, recently.
Senator Gyang posited that, “Governmental leaders can, through good governance, fairness and equity command national loyalty and promote unity of the country. On the contrary, violation and disregard for inclusivity and equity aggravates agitations across the country.
“Leaders ought to be altruistic and display nationalistic spirit, rather than wearing the toga of ethnicity and religion, the consequence of which deepens cleavages and divisiveness in Nigeria,” he added.
The Senator, who re-presented President of the Senate, Senator Ahmed Lawan, said, the Federal Character Principle as enshrined in Section 14 (2&3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, is in acknowledgement of the diversity of Nigeria, the management of which ought to engender national unity and command loyalty of citizens beyond and above ethnic, sectional and religious considerations.
He noted that, “The Federal Character Principle is meant to prevent the dominance and predominance of a few persons in the structures and machinery of government and governance in all services, cadres and offices.”
While observing that records indicate non-compliance to the Federal Character Principle at all levels of government, he urged the Federal Character Commission to invoke the powers vested on it by the Constitution in the Third Schedule, 15 (1-3) to sanction erring Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government.
The 2-day conference was at the instance of the Senate Committee on Federal Character and Inter Governmental Affairs in conjunction with the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation.