By Emman Ovuakporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru

ABUJA—The House of Representatives, yesterday, advised the Police Service Commission, PSC, and other relevant authorities to adhere to the spirit of federal character as contained in the Constitution in the recruitment of additional 10,000 police personnel as directed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The House told PSC, Ministry of Police Affairs, and the Nigeria Police Force to ensure the “allotment of 10 slots to each of the 768 local government areas and six area councils of Abuja in the first instance.”
The House also commended the President for his “giant strides” in addressing insecurity and unemployment by the gesture and called on the relevant authorities to respect the spirit of federal character.
It also advised legislative compliance committees to ensure implementation of the resolution by relevant agencies.
The respect for and adherence to the federal character in the recruitment of the additional 10,000 police officers, as directed by the President, was part of the resolution in the motion sponsored by Muhammad Abdu (APC, Bauchi), alongside 79 other members.
Abdu said the need to enforce the constitutional provisions in the recruitment exercise was borne out of the need to uphold unity, harmony and the country’s integration drive.
… in the Constitution
He supported his argument with relevant constitutional provisions that include Section 3(6), Section 4(2), Section 14(1), Section 14(2) (C), Section 14(3) and Section 15(2) to underscore the national integration of the country, and downplay discriminatory ground based on place of origin, sex, religion, state or linguistic grounds.
Sponsors of the motion noted “with dismay the flagrant abuse of the above provisions of the Constitution in the previous recruitment exercises by federal agencies, especially security services (military and paramilitary).
“The House recognizes the need to ensure balance, equity, fair-play and justice in all recruitment exercises in the future in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.”
The decision of the House to establish the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, and Refugee Committee, which was before now under the Human Rights Committee, followed the adoption of a motion by Emmanuel Oker-Jev (APC, Benue State).
Oker-Jev had in the motion noted that theBoko Haraminsurgency, which started around 2007, had constituted the single most devastating incident in Nigeria’s history since the end of the Civil War in 1970.
According to him, the murderous activities of the violent sect in the North-East had led to the death of over 200,000 people, displacement of over five million others, destruction of property worth millions of Naira and dislocation of the way of life of the people of the region.
According to him, “we are concerned about the large scale of devastation of the North-East zone by the sect and the compelling need to adopt extra military measures towards rebuilding the zone which had been akin to a theatre of war.
“We are also cognizant of the level of rehabilitation, reconstruction, re-orientation and reintegration of the traumatized and displaced people of the North-East zone and it requires the creation of a standing committee devoted exclusively to handle the tasks ahead.”
C’ttee’s functions
The committee is expected to oversee Ministries, Agencies and Departments, MDA, of government responsible for IDPs, refugees, migrants and stateless persons, save those assigned to other committees.
In addition, the committee would perform oversight and legislative functions on the National Commission for Refugees or any successor agency.
Also, it would be the responsibility of the committee to relate and coordinate with multi-national and supra-national agencies and bodies with respect to the rehabilitation, reconstruction, recovery, resettlement and development of the North-East zone comprising Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Taraba and Yobe States ravaged by terrorism.
A point of order by Ali Madaki (APC, Kano) that the creation of the Committee was unnecessary was turned down by the Speaker Yakubu Dogara who presided over the plenary.
Madaki said the duties assigned to the new Committee were being handled by other Committees of the House, but the Speaker ruled him out of order saying the observation was not relevant in this case.
The Speaker also amendment the nomenclature of the Committee as proposed by Oker-Jev saying that the Committee’s scope should not be limited to the Northeast alone since it was supposed to be handling a national issue.
The motion was unanimously adopted after it was put to a voice vote by the Speaker.

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