Leadership / Nigeria: Senate yesterday directed its Committee on Federal Character to carry out thorough investigation of recent alleged lopsided recruitment carried out by the Department of State Services (DSS).
Chairman of the Committee, Senator Tijjani Yahaya Kaura (APC Zamfara North) had during plenary declared that his committee based on the petitions, resolved to probe the exercise considered to be highly lopsided in favour of a particular state and section of the country.
Senator Kaura, who rose through Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules to intimate his colleagues of the move, said probing the alleged lopsided recruitment by the DSS and taking needed steps thereafter, would go a long way in restoring the confidence of Nigerians on the principles of federal character required for such exercise on the basis of equity, justice and fairness.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, while responding, gave the Senate Committee on Federal Character, the go ahead with the probe and update the Senate with its findings.
Saraki said: “Your committee should please go ahead with the planned investigation on the alleged lopsided recruitment in DSS to right whatever wrongs that must have been committed in the general interest of all Nigerians.”
It would be recalled that the alleged lopsided recruitment exercise carried out by DSS last month revealed wide disparity in state by state allocation of the 479 newly commissioned cadet officers.
While the Director-General of DSS, Mr. Lawal Daura, ensured that at least five cadets were recruited from each state of the federation and the FCT, the scale was heavily tipped in favour of some states in the north, regarding other extraneous considerations.
Specifically, only the minimum of five cadets stipulated per state finally entered the Service from Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria’s largest oil producing state, while a mammoth 51 found their way in from Katsina State, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari and the director-general of the agency.
Also, the two most populous states in Nigeria, Kano and Lagos, were given 25 and seven, respectively, indicating that the recruitment was not based on the population of states.
A breakdown of the newly commissioned cadet officers on geo-political basis revealed that 165 are from the North-West, roughly four times as many as 42 who were picked from the South-South region.
The figures for the other zones are: North-East -100, North-Central -66, South-West -57 and South-East -44.
In all, 331 of the newly commissioned officers are from the 19 northern states and the FCT, less than half of the total intakes were from states in the southern part of the country.