A former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, has accused the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) of flagrantly disregarding the federal character principle of the nation over the past eight years.
Chidoka pointed out that during the previous administration, eighteen paramilitary agencies were headed solely by individuals from a particular region of the country. He expressed his concern over this lack of diversity while participating in an interview on the Politics Today program on Channels Television.
The former minister expressed his bewilderment at the sudden outcry regarding issues of appointment and sensitivity within the first four weeks of a new government. He questioned the credibility of those who remained silent while the previous government subjected the nation to intense challenges.
He said, “I will speak as someone who belongs to a party that’s famous for inclusion, the PDP. The APC in its history hasn’t shown any sensitivity to the federal character principle.
“I was in this country for the past eight years when the principle was brutally violated. I came on this programme, I spoke about the federal character commission. I spoke about our paramilitary agencies, eighteen of them, at that time, were headed by people from one particular region of the country.
“I wrote several articles about Buhari’s constant violation of our nationally agreed principle. And for the most part people rationalized it, people argued that he was appointing people he knew, he was appointing competent people.
“So, I find it objectionable for people who didn’t say a word when this country was brutally harangued by the government to now talk about issues of appointment and sensitivity in four weeks. I feel that it is a violation of the canon of decency. So what we need to see is that at the end of the day, the PDP plotted a zonal structure that works for it.
“For us in PDP, the first six positions are the president, the vice president, the Senate President, the speaker, the chairman of the party and the SGF. Those are the six positions we normally give to the six geopolitical zones. I want to see how the APC will do that.
“Already, the election has given the south west, North east, and we are already seeing a South South Senate President. And we are seeing a North Central speaker, SGF and chairman of the party. I am waiting to see how these things will go to sort out those six.
“Then I am waiting to see how they will do the ministries in Nigeria, whether they will grade them in terms of their effectiveness in governance. For the PDP, there were grade A, grade B, and grade C ministries. Each of the geopolitical zones got one each from the grades; by so doing, the PDP ensured there was a sense of inclusion in the country.”