Ebonyi State member representing Ohaozara/Onicha/Ivo Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Linus Okorie, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress, APC, to respect the federal character principle as enshrined in Section 14 (3) of the constitution of Nigeria.
Section 14 (3) of the Constitution states that “The composition of the Government of the Federation or any of its agencies and the conduct of its affairs shall be carried out in such a manner as to reflect the federal character of Nigeria and the need to promote national unity, and also to command national loyalty, thereby ensuring that there shall be no predominance of persons from a few State or from a few ethnic or other sectional groups in that Government or in any of its agencies.”
Okorie accused President Buhari and the APC of having violated the constitutional provision on all the appointments they have made since their assumption of leadership of the federal government on May 29 2015.
The National Assembly lawmaker from Ebonyi State noted with particular interest, the pronouncements of the APC lawmakers de-emphasizing the federal character principle.
Okorie also tackled Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, who he said before now acted as an erudite opposition lawmaker and quintessential respecter of the rule of law and constitutional provisions, but is now leading the upturn of the constitution.
“Gbajabimila’s current personal ambitions cannot justifiably account for such a dramatic somersault that seeks to turn Nigeria’s constitution on its head merely to justify a position which is clearly against the spirit and letter of the constitution” Okorie said.
The Lawmaker remarked that without any of iota of doubt, the principle of Federal Character enshrined in the nation’s constitution is now under threat in the current dispensation, recalling that the few appointments already made by President Muhammadu Buhari do not reflect federal character.
He however advised that it would be in the best interest of the nation and its constitution if Buhari redresses the error in the course of subsequent appointments, and quickly too.
He faulted Gbajabiamila’s view that the House of Representatives is not an agency of federal government and that its principal officers’ positions are elective and not by appointment.
“Clearly, this cannot be interpreted to exclude the national assembly’s principal officers’ positions. All of us, including my respected colleague, Hon. Gbajabiamila, have a duty not to encourage or allow the Constitution to be desecrated or abused by people who are desperate for power,” said Okorie.


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