The Coalition of Civil Society Organizations (CCSOs) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to appoint a Southerner as substantive Secretary of Federal Character Commission (FCC).

The coalition said since the creation of the commission in 1996, the tradition had always been the Chairman from the North and Secretary from the South.

But the bodies have noted that both the current Chairman, Muheeba Dankaka, and the Secretary, Muhammed Bello, whose tenure ends next week, are Northerners.

Addressing the media on Friday, Oluwole Oladapo, the Convener of Values of Unlimited Restorative Justice, advised the President to appoint a Southerner as Bello’s successor.

He said the FCC, according to Section 153(1) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, is meant to be the custodian of the principle of federal character and ensure compliance by federal agencies, departments and parastatals.

“Charity should ordinarily begin from the home of the commission by respecting the provision of the law and appoint its Secretary from the Southern part of Nigeria”, Oladapo said.

Also, Ayo Ologun, the Convener of Oodua Youth Initiative, appealed to Buhari to reflect equity and fairness in his decision. Last month, Mrs Dankaka was accused of nepotism by 20 out of the 37 FCC commissioners.

In a petition to the Buhari, they accused the chairman of carrying out a secret recruitment and giving majority slots to her kinsmen from Kwara State.

They alleged Dankaka unilaterally recruited 22 employees out of which 11 of were from her senatorial district. The petitioners stated that her action was a breach of the FCC Act and urged Buhari to investigate.

The FCC fifth Board chaired by Dankaka assumed office in July 2020 after inauguration by the President.

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