The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has called on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency, nullify the recent enlistment into the Department of State Services (DSS), which was skewed in favour of the North-West geo-political zone and in particular, Katsina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Director General of the DSS, Alhaji Lawal Musa Daura.
In a media statement jointly signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, the group condemned as puerile, unethical and unconstitutional, a reported defence put up by an unnamed Presidency official that the lopsided enlistment was done to redress past lopsidedness.
HURIWA dismissed as tepid, the defence for what it called the outrageous and indeed heartless violations of the constitutional principles of Federal Character and natural justice by officials of the Department of State Services.
The rights group said that apart from the fact that the defence put up by the Presidency official is “irrational and illogical, the so-called Presidency official failed to produce any convincing statistical data to validate the weird justification of this national show of shame by those who conducted the enlistment exercise recently done in the Department of State Services.
HURIWA said: “If we take the claim that because in the past Kano and Katsina States were reportedly short-changed in the previous enlistment exercises (assuming without conceding), do we then say that the South East of Nigeria should produce the President of Nigeria for the next four tenures from 2019 because of the historical crime of systematically excluding the zone from producing any executive President of Nigeria since Independence? This gross breach of the constitutional Principles of Federal Character as occasioned by the lopsided enlistment exercise carried out by the Lawal Musa Daura-led Department of State Services must be reversed so as to preserve our much cherished unity as a Country.
“We in the human rights sector are by this media statement calling on the Northern hawks that have constituted the Presidential cabal under the President Muhammadu Buhari's administration to stop their longstanding implementation of pro-Northern regional agenda which are signposted by the heavily lopsided appointments into key national Defence and Economic departments of the Nigerian government with only Nigerians from the Hausa/Fulani section of Northern Nigeria. This longstanding rape of the Nigerian Constitution would inevitably have significant negative impacts on the unity of this very highly fragile and fragmented nation-state known as Nigeria.
“Those who have constituted themselves as political demi-gods and are waging vicious campaign of total capture and occupation of all vital security institutions and other juicy economic positions must know that power is ephemeral and that they can't subject and subjugate forever without resistance the rest of the Nigerian population to this enslavement and forceful occupation of national offices and key positions that by constitutional right belongs to each and every Nigerian citizen irrespective of Ethno Religious beliefs and Orientations.”
HURIWA recalled that a breakdown of the recruitment into the department of state security service in 2016 commissioned cadet officers on geopolitical basis shows that Katsina State alone has (51) candidates enlisted.
“This is even as all the South-East states combined got a paltry (44). The statistical data are as follows North-West 165; North-East 100; South-South 42; North-Central 66; South-West 57; South-East 44,” the group said.
HURIWA also called on the National Assembly to wade in and course an investigative hearing on this dangerous violation of the Nigerian Federal character principle in the enlistment exercise recently carried out by DSS with a view to ensure that equity, fairness and constitutionalism take overriding place.