OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives has vowed to investigate the Nigerian Navy for alleged lopsided supplementary recruitment of 44 candidates in contravention of the principle of federal character.
The House also directed the Nigerian Navy to immediately suspend the forthcoming pre-screening exercise for the shortlisted candidates; and that it should be provided with details of all recruitment from 2014 to date showing the geographical spread.
The House accordingly mandated its committee on Navy to urgently investigate the recruitment and recommend appropriate measures to avoid similar constitutional violations in all government recruitments and report back within 12 weeks for further legislative action.
The resolutions were reached at plenary session on Wednesday in a matter of urgent public national importance brought by Mr. Ben Igbakpa (PDP, Delta).
While presenting the motion, Igbakpa pointed that all the successful candidates called to report for training in two batches at the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School in Rivers State were all from a particular part of the country.
This, according to him, negates the federal character principle of inclusiveness, equity and fair play.
He further noted that the constitution provides that all appointments must reflect federal character, adding that there was need to ensure equal participation of various ethnic extractions in the country.
The Delta lawmaker also explained that the principle was aimed at preventing the domination by some ethnic groups in the affairs of the country and the exclusion of others.
He therefore stated that the principle appeared to have been observed more in breach, adding that appointments and recruitments into government agencies at the federal and state levels must be equitably spread.
According to him, adequate observance and implementation of the Federal Character Principle will allay the fears of domination and denial by the ethnic minorities, and invariably foster national unity.
The House added that every Nigerian deserved to be treated with dignity and rights, irrespective of where they might be located physically in the country.