The Igbo Political Progressive Union (IPPU) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to review the nominations of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) national commissioners from the south-east geo-political zone of the country.
The union in a statement jointly signed by the Chairman, Barrister John Nwobodo and the Secretary, Engr. Ifeanyi Ozigbo, said the nominees from the south-east threw up a political in-balance on the micro-zoning arrangement.
They recalled that Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, read President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter to the effect of the appointments on the floor of the senate with names of the nominees as: May Agbamuche (Delta State) representing south-south; Mr. Ukeagu Nnamdi (Abia State) representing South-east; Maj. Gen. A. B Alkali (Adamawa State), representing North-east; Rada Gumus (Bayelsa State), representing another South-south; Mohammed Haruna (Niger State) representing North-central, and finally, Sam Olumekun (Ondo State) representing South-west.
“Whereas, Mr. President met the first criterion of both geographical and geopolitical spread of the appointees in the country, a closer and critical appraisal of the composition of these nominees, especially as it affects the south-east zone nominee, reveals a level of imbalance especially when it is understood that each geopolitical zone is made up of six states, micro-zoned into three states each from whereupon a representative is to be appointed from.
“Under the first sub-group arrangement for the South-east zone, which comprised Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu states respectively, Prof. Okechukwu Ibeano, who recently served out as National Commissioner hails from Anambra State. Another sub-group from the southeast zone comprised Abia and Imo states and has Mr. Festus Okoye as her representative.
“It is therefore both politically and strategically logical and rationale to replace Prof. Okechukwu Ibeano who hails from Anambra, and has just finished his tenure (representing the Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi sub-group in INEC), with a credible and well qualified candidate from either Enugu or Ebonyi,” they said.
The union said that such review of the nomination is in keeping with good conscience, fairness, justice and equity as the cardinal indexes of the federal character principles which Mr. President is known for.
They said, “What is disturbing to well-meaning Nigerians is that the nomination of Mr. Nnamdi Okeagu, has undermined the fibre, strength and the spirit of the loft ideas behind federal character principles as encapsulated in section 14 (3) of the constitution.
“This is because his appointment has given Imo and Abia sub-group undue advantage in the commission where Barrister Festus Okoye is already representing the sub-group. Put simply, and lucidly, in view of the fact that Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra state constitutes one of the sub-groups, from the south-east, the nomination of Mr. Ukeagu Nnamdi from Abia state has jolted the structural arrangement resulting that the sub-group currently has no representative.”