Right group under the aegis of Conference Of Nigeria Civil Rights Defenders (CNCRD), has urged Federal Government to obey federal character principle on appointments of security management team in the country.
The group in an open letter to the National Assembly faulted the composition of new Service Chiefs appoionted by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The letter dated Monday, February 15, 2021 and titled:”Open Letter to the National Assembly on the Screening of the New Service Chiefs”, was jointly signed by the National Coordinator, CNCRD, Dr Hassan Muhammad, and National Secretary, Barr. (Mrs) Ibinabo Pere Jaja.
The right group appealed to the legislature to seek a review of the composition from the president to reflect the nation’s existing federal character principles.
It noted that the exclusion of the Igbos which is the third largest ethnic group in the country from the security management team for the second time during this administration leaves much to be desired, hence the need for the alleged wrongs to be corrected before screening by the lawmakers.
The Conference of Nigeria Civil Rights Defenders, expressed its total support to the position of Igbo apex socio-cultural organisation, Ohaneze Ndigbo,for a review of the service chiefs’ composition, saying its position was for equity and fairness.
The group called “on the National Assembly as the representative of the people to prevail on Mr President to correct this gross injustice by reviewing the appointments in the interest of justice and national unity.
The letter read in part: “We are a coalition of civil society organizations whose thematic area of intervention is mainly on national unity, peace building and protection of human rights. This is what we have been doing for several years of our existence.
“We write to throw our weight behind the Igbo apex socio cultural group,Ohanaeze Ndigbo,on the exclusion of Igbo from South East in the composition of the new service chiefs which to us, is a gross violation of the federal character principles and a clear bias against the Igbos.
We call on the National Assembly as the representative of the people to prevail on Mr President to correct this gross injustice by reviewing the appointments in the interest of justice and national unity.”
The group said while it believed that besides competence, the president reserved the right to appoint military officers of his choice into the security management team, leaving out officers of Igbo origin in two straight appointments into the position was a clear case of bias against the Igbo nation.
The letter further disclosed that, “While it is true that competency should be the criteria for appointment of this nature and not ethnic considerations
, we must say that only when there is justice and equity that genuine peace and reconciliation can be achieved.
“Igbo is the third largest tribe with qualified, competent, and tested officers in all the branches of the Armed Force of Nigeria.
“We wonder why the Presidency did not look inward and pick one of them in two consecutive times that he made service chiefs’ appointments! What is really the sin of the Igbos? Or are other tribes more Nigeria than others?”
The group concluded by applauding patriotic Nigerians
for rising in defence of the review, saying the development was an indication that many Nigerians had risen above selfish interests.