SENATE minority leader Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe has kicked against the nomination of Mrs Aisha Umar from as the director-general of the National Pension Commission (PenCom) claiming she is from the northeast and should not replace a southerner.
Earlier this week, President Muhammadu Buhari write to the senate asking it to confirm the nomination of Oyindasola Oni as chairman and Aisha Umar as director-general of the PenCom board. Senate president, Senator Ahmad Lawan, read the letter on the floor of the Senate during plenary.
However, Senator Abaribe raised a point of order following the reading of the letter by Senator Ahmed Lawan. He insisted that the nomination of a candidate from the northeast to replace the former Pencom director-general Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu from the southeast was in breach of the PenCom Act.
According to Senator Abaribe, the National Pension Commission Act 2014 provided that in the event of a vacancy, the president shall appoint replacement from the geo-political zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure. He maintained that the replacement for Mrs Anohu-Amazu must come from the southeast.
Senator Abaribe said: “I recall that the tenure of the incumbent was truncated therefore, the new letter from the president that has now moved the chairman of the commission to another zone may not be correct because it is against the law setting up the National Pension Commission. Before you send it to the appropriate committee tomorrow, I wish to draw the attention of the committee to it.”
This latest development comes amid an uproar over the recent appointments into the Department of State Security (DSS) in which 535 of the 628 trainees are from the northeast and northwest geo-political zones. Leaders of thought and elder statesmen from the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum, have taken a swipe at the DSS director-general Yusuf Bichi, saying his lopsided recruitment put a sharp knife to the rope holding what is left of Nigeria.
A recent statement issued by the leaders of the Middle-Belt, Ohaneaze Ndigbo, Pan-Niger Delta Forum and Afenifere, described the action of the DSS head as insensitive. Signed by Yinka Odumakin, Chief Guy Ikokwu, Senator Bassey Henshaw and Dr Isuwa Dogo, the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum disclosed that it had taken the government to court based over its serial sectionalism.
Their statement read: “Of the total 628 cadet trainees who had resumed at the Bauchi facility as of September 23, 535 trainees joined the service from either the northeast or the northwest. Only 93 were from either the southeast, south-south, southwest or north-central. The gazette’s findings also showed that at least 71 of those currently undergoing cadet training hail from Bichi Local Government Area, Kano State the director-general’s home local government area.”