The Coalition of South East Professionals Network in Nigeria and Diaspora (CSEPNND) have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure the application of the federal character principle in appointments into sensitive positions.
They said on Tuesday in Abuja that the framers of the 1999 Constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), did not include the federal character principle as a decorative item, but rather a mandatory requirement for the sustainability of the nation’s unity and corporate existence.
The National Coordinator, CSEPNND, Prof. Chika Madumere, who spoke on behalf of the network warned against the danger of treating any ethnic nation as second-class, noting that the consequence of such is not on the interest of the country either in short or long run.
This is as they urged the President to address the nation on the growing tension and insecurity in the land, saying this will help calm fray nerves and help in resolving the crisis.
According to them, at all material times, the President and other leaders occupying positions of responsibility, must ensure that the tripod on which Nigeria stands -Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo- was reflected in appointments into public offices, saying that development will ease tension in the polity.
They recalled that in July, 2015, when President Buhari assembled his team of Service Chiefs, upon assumption of office on May 29 same year, no officer of Igbo extraction was considered worthy of inclusion.
They said that other appointments made by the President into the leadership of security, intelligence as well as para-military agencies, were devoid of any consideration for the South East.
They lamented that the January 26 nomination of new Service Chiefs, like previous others by Mr. President, had no senior officer from the South East.
They, therefore, urged the President in the interest of justice and fairness, to immediately review the appointment of military heads, to reflect geo-political balancing.
“As a South East group with membership from within and outside the country, we have the ultimate mandate to rise in defence of the Igbo nation, in times of need, as doing otherwise will amount to dereliction of moral duty,” they said.
They added, “It is in recognition of the egalitarian nature of modern society, which Nigeria proudly belongs, that we humbly appeal for an urgent review of the recent assembling of military heads, to incorporate the interest of the South East.
“We advise that the zone must not be offered a second-class status, as doing so may continue to inflict more injuries on the Igbos therefore giving credence to the criminals IPOB which we have since rejected.”