Activists protest Yemi-Esan’s appointment as HoS

Some leaders from the South-east and the North have protested President Buhari’s approval of the appointment of Folasade Omolara Yemi-Esan as substantive Head of Civil Service of the Federation, even as they have accused the President of marginalising the Igbo.

The activists, at a press conference in Abuja on the aegis of the League of Patriotic Nigerians, queried why the President has not found anyone from the South-east worthy to head any political or career position in the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led administration.

Addressing journalists, the Convener of the league,  Okonkwo James and the National Secretary, Isah Pai, stated that after almost five years the administration of Muhammadu Buhari came on board, leaders from the South-east have repeatedly accused the President of sidelining the entire region.

“When on Sunday, March 1, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari announced Dr Yemi-Esan it occurred to us that it fits into the president’s disdain and utter contempt for peoples of the South East.

“While we hold nothing against Dr. Yemi-Esan, it is unfortunate and grossly insensitive that the president could ignore strident calls to give a sense of belonging to all Nigerians especially a critical stakeholder as the South-east.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the provisions of the 1999 Constitution in Sections 14 (3) and 153 are clear on inclusion and non-segregation of any part of Nigeria in the federal system.

“The sections specifically centre on the creation of the Federal Character Commission (FCC). One of the duties of the commission, as prescribed by the law that set it up, is to work out an equitable formula, subject to the approval of the president, for the distribution of all cadres of posts in the civil and public service of the federation and of the state, the armed forces, the Nigerian Police Force and other security agencies, corporate bodies owned by the federal or a state government and extra-ministerial departments and parastatals of the federation and states.

“But today, there is no sign of any south easterner, Igbo in particular, heading any of the core career or political posts in the country,” the group stated.

Speaking further James who read the text of the conference stated: “We are constrained to ask what is the offence of the Igbo man or woman in Nigeria? What the president ought to do is to have appointed a south easterner to the position of Head of Service. The zone does not lack people of requisite knowledge, capacity and competencies to be Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

“In the spirit of inclusion, equity and equality, we demand unequivocally, the rescinding the announcement of Dr. Yemi-Esan as Head of Civil Service of the Federation and a civil servant of Igbo extraction be announced.

“Let it be known that the composition of government or any of its agencies at this time does not in any way reflect the federal character of Nigeria and neither does it promote national unity, and or command national loyalty.

“It is important to state that since Engineer Ebele Ofunneke Okeke was appointed by the late President Umar Musa ‘Yar’adua on July 12, 2007 as the first female Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, the south east has been shot out. And this is unfortunate.

“It is our request that Dr. Yemi-Esan should not be sworn-in on Wednesday so that the famed tripod of Nigeria will not have a broken leg. To continue in this direction demonstrates that the actions of Mr. President do not command national loyalty.”

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