A group of concerned citizens of Taraba state have fired a petition to Aso Rock, asking President Muhammadu Buhari to halt alleged injustice and deliberate violation of the Federal Character principle in ways that hurt their peoples’ interests.
In the two-page petition dated march 27, 2020, twenty-five concerned Taraba citizens who wrote from the palace of a paramount ruler, Aku Uka of Wukari urged the Federal Government not to worsen the situation further with the displacement of a more qualified candidate in favour of a female Fulani candidate for the headship of Federal Medical Centre in Jalingo.
According to some Taraba elites, all but one of the federal appointments since 2015 appear to involve special consideration for Fulanis who are only a small part of the state’s approximately fifty tribes.
The petition titled “Petition Against Violation of Federal Character Principle and Injustice in the Appointment of Medical Director, Federal Medical Centre Jalingo, As Widely Circulated on Social Media,” they expressed fears that Dr. Attah Dangana Iliya who came tops with a score of 83.2 per cent about to be displaced in favour of one Dr. Aisha Shehu Adamu who scored 67. 34 percent.
Copies of the petition were also forwarded to the offices of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief of Staff to the President, Chairman, Federal Character Commission, Minister of State for Health and the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary.
“We the indigenes of Taraba State from the southern zone hereby bring to your notice the injustice meted out to us and the violation of Federal Character Principle in the purported appointment of Dr Aisha Shehu Adamu as the Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre, Jalingo as widely circulated in the social media on Thursday and Friday the 26th and 27th of March, 2020 respectively.
“Our grounds for the petition are as follows:
- The Federal Character Principle recommends the rotation of posts within deserving zones; in this case, the three (3) Senatorial Zones of Taraba State.The position of the Medical Director of Federal Medical Centre Jalingo has remained in the Northern Senatorial Zone for sixteen (16) years. After the interview, two (2) Officers Dr Dangana Iliya Attah and Dr Aisha Shehu Adamu qualified for the position from the Southern and Northern zones respectively with Dr Dangana who is currently the acting Medical Director scoring the highest but approval was purportedly given to Dr Aisha from the Northern zone.
- The Federal Character Principle prohibits sacrificing merit on the altar of zoning i.e no qualified Nigerian that came first and who is eminently qualified for the position will be denied a post and be given to another on the basis of zoning or Gender as in this case. The first candidate from Southern zone came first by a wide margin in addition to the fact that the Southern zone is long overdue to represent us in that capacity only for the position to be given to the second candidate who is from the Northern Senatorial zone again.
- In the light of the above, we are convinced that that the approving authority was misled to act contrary to the Federal Character Principle which is a constitutional matter.
- Furthermore, we call on the relevant authorities to set up a high powered committee to look into the matter to ensure that the right thing is done to stop this illegality.
- Finally, it is our belief that under your leadership injustice will not be allowed to prevail,” they stated.
Names of the 25 concerned Taraba citizens given under the letter are: Shuaibu Shidi, Idris Sani, Maiwanka, Mijinyawa Yahaya, Bissala Funen, Mohammed Kabiru Iliya, Wunuke E. Massa Ibi, Zainab Mohammed, Samson Nwunuji Ada, Vyoku Danji Joseph, Magaji Mahmoud, Wando Akunatu, Amagwandi Tubasen, Wajim John and Umar Yunu.
The ten others are: Tsokwa Paul, Amina Tanko Umaru, Agu Bako, Tanimu Abudullahi, Abdullahi Umar, Hajia Zainab Badega, Andesati Peter, Uresti Andesati, Kurusti Tanson, Iratsi Kukorimam and Tanimu Yanki,