By Dennis Agbo
The Igbo Political Progressive Union, IPPU, has raised serious objection against the nomination of Mr Nnmadi Okeagu to replace Prof. Okechukwu Ibeano, the outgone Commissioner who represented Enugu/Anambra/ Ebonyi states in the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
The group said that Okeagu hailed from Imo state that already has an INEC representative in the person of Mr Festus Okoye that represents Abia/Imo/Benue states in the Commission.
The Igbo Political Progressive Union, therefore, noted that if Mr Okeagu is allowed to pass through in the nomination, the Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi sub-group would be greatly disadvantaged and obstructed from representation in INEC.
Chairman of IPPU, Barrister John Nwobodo and the Secretary, Engr. Ifeanyi Ozigbo in a statement jointly issued in Enugu, on Monday, said that it behoves President Muhammadu Buhari in performing his constitutional mandate, not only to appoint men and women of proven integrity and impeccable character but also to be guided by the lofty principle of federal character which provides for all appointments to reflect the nuances of all ethnic and sub-groups in Nigeria.
They maintained that it is both politically and strategically logical and rationale to replace Prof Okechukwu Ibeano who hails from Anambra, and has just finished his tenure (representing the Anambra, Enugu and Ebonyi Sub-group in the commission), with a credible and well-qualified candidate from either Enugu or Ebonyi state.
“This is in keeping with good conscience, fairness, justice and equity as the cardinal indexes of the federal character principles which Mr President is known for.
“What is disturbing to well-meaning Nigerians is the fact that his appointment has undermined the fibre, strength and the spirit of the loft ideas behind federal character principles as encapsulated in section 14 (3) of the constitution.
“This is because his appointment has given Imo, Abia and Benue sub-group undue advantage in the Commission where Barr Festus Okoye is already representing the sub-group. Put simply, and lucidly, in view of the fact that Ebonyi, Enugu and Anambra state constitutes one of the sub-groups from the South-east, the nomination of Mr Ukeagu Nnamdi from Abia state has jolted the structural arrangement resulting that the sub-group currently has no representative.
“As the people of Ebonyi and Enugu states are at pain and agitating against this unfair treatment and marginalization, their cry and yearning are for Mr President to review and reverse this perversion of justice and consider appointing a well-qualified and credible candidate from the sub-zone of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu.
“Doing the needful by Mr President and his great team of advisers will certainly give the people of this sub-group a sense of belonging and continue to portray our dear President Mohhamadu Buhari as a true father and statesman for all,” the group petitioned.