URGENT NEED FOR FULL APPLICATION OF EXTANT PUBLIC SERVICE RULES AND FEDERAL CHARACTER IN APPOINTING CLERKS IN NASS
The National Assembly is the highest legislative institution which symbolises the true tenets of the Rule of Law and Democracy that Nigeria practices. It is so because in other forms of government, the legislature which offers checks and balances to the Executive – the implementing organ of the state is central to the survival of any democratic tendency.
Aside it, it is the only organ that represents the interest of the Nigerian people such that it attracts equal representatives as evidenced in the 109-Member of the Nigerian Senate. This institution of the Nigerian people functions with about 4,000 people in its workforce fuelling the machinery of the very vital organ of the state.
From the records, the National Assembly has 18 top management staff who in line with Federal Character, are appointed on the six geo-political zones basis of Nigeria. This implies that, three slots are allocated to each Zone based on NASC POLICY. All of this are currently in place except the North Central alloted with two slots since 2020.
Therefore, It is not only against the principle of Federal Character but politically wrong and religiously unfair for South East with only 2 APC States to have Clerk of the Senate & House of Representatives at the same time as against the North Central with 5 APC States. It is also against the law of natural justice to reap where you didn’t plant. So let’s not loose our sight that Alhaji Ibrahim Salim and Alhaji Nasir Arab being referred to are from the PDP ruling party States then. Ditto for Alhaji Salisu Maikasuwa and Alhaji Sani-Omolori. If it happens to those who planted in the past, it shouldn’t apply to those who wants to reap without planting.
Contrary to the Principle of Federal Character as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, National Assembly Service Commission Act, 2014 and the Conditions of Service in the National Assembly, North Central had only 2 slots; North East-3 slots; North West had 4 slots(now 3),South East-3 slots, South West-3 slots; and South South have 3 slots as follows:
A.NORTH CENTRAL (2 slots)
1.Rahmatu Ahmed (Kogi -Secretary, Research & Information
2.Ochigbo Abel Daniel(Benue) – Deputy Clerk House of Rep
B.NORTH EAST(3 slots)
1.Bala M. Yabani (Yobe)-DCNA
2.Liman Sanda (Borno)-Secretary, Procurement
3.El-Nafaty Aishatu Bappa(Bauchi)-Dep Clerk Senate
C.NORTH WEST(4 slots now 3)
1.Sani Magaji Tanbuwal(Sokoto)-Sec.Fin.and Account
2.El-Ladan Ibrahim Dauda(Katsina)- Clerk Senate (VACANT)
3.Dr Bashir(Katsina) -Sec; Medical
4.DanZaria Yahaya Hamidu(Kebbi)-Dep Clerk House of Rep.
D.SOUTH EAST(3 slots)
1.Micheal Nnachi Okpara(Ebonyi)-Sec; Budget
2.Akabueze Francis Chinedu(Anambra)-Clerk, House of Rep.
3.Illobah(Umunakwe) Isabella Ugochi (Imo)-Dep Clerk Senate
E. SOUTH WEST(3 slots)
1.Ojo Olatunde Amos(Osun)- CNA
2.Biodun Suraju Oladoyin(Osun)- Sec,HR
3.Ademola A. Adebanjo(Ogun), Sec;Sp Duties
F.SOUTH SOUTH(3 slots)
1.Herrienta Ebanehita Aimu-Ehikioya(Edo)-Sec, Legal
2.Felix Orumwense (Edo)-Sec;Inter-Parliamentary
3.Lucky Ikharo (Edo)- Sec,NASC
In view of the above, only North Central is short changed with 2 slots while North West had 4 slots(now 3). So, North Central should have any available slot in line with the extant Public Service Rules and the principle of Federal Character as enshrined in the Constitution of Nigeria,1999 as amended.
And also in line with the National Assembly Service Commission Act,2014 as amended; and the Conditions of Service in the National Assembly, Seniority (date of appointment as Director, 1st date of appointment & date of retirement) based on Staff nominal list should be adopted in picking the most experienced Senior Director Legislative Senate from North Central Zone.
In the principle of equity, fairness, justice & political expediency, North Central should be considered first in any appointments now. Else, the Senate President; Speaker; Chairman NASC; and the Commissioners at National Assembly Service Commission should explain the marginalization of the North Central.
In the spirit of fairness, equity and justice, we seek that the Clerk to the National Assembly, who is the Chief Administrative Officer of the National Assembly, to recommend for approval by the NASC the most competent and experienced in legislative practice and procedures among the arrays of qualified Staff from the North Central such as Abel Ochigbo Daniel from Benue State, Deputy Clerk Administration in the House of Representatives; Comrade Fatai Jimoh from Kwara State and Director, Legislative Senate (Director of Statistics);Comrade Rawlings Agada, Director Administration (Director of Information); and Barr Cletus A. Ojabo, also Director Legislative Senate. Just like Abel and Agada, Ashieeka and Ojabo are all from Benue State.
As a matter of fact the most qualified, competent experienced and senior candidate in legislative Chamber works from the above listed candidates from the North Central should be elevated as the Clerk of the Senate without unnecessary administrative tension and bottleneck being created in the legislative bureaucracy.
It must be quickly pointed out that the President of Senate is rumoured to be working in tandem with the Chairman NASC and the DCNA, all from Yobe State, to smuggle in Maina Shaibu Birma (no 8 on the seniority list), also from Yobe as either the Clerk or Deputy Clerk Senate. This will not only be inimical to the legislative bureaucracy but will reduce the National Assembly into Yobe Assembly. That should be avoided in order to prevent establishment of a bad dangerous precedent against the extant Public Service Rules and the Federal Character of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which the Senate is expected to jealously guides, as championed by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Character & Government Affairs some few days ago.
We have a firm belief in the leadership of the Chairman of the National Assembly, Senator Ahmad Lawan(PhD),to right this wrong and ensure justice is served so that the marginalization of the North Central under his leadership within the top Management level in NASS will come to an end.
We remain committed to equity, fairness and justice as well as our fair support to the National Assembly at all times.