In the Federal Civil Service Commission (FCSC), one Federal Commissioner represents Cross River and Akwa Ibom States. The appointment, which is a five-year tenure, usually rotates between the two states.
However, in the past two appointments, something unusual happened. The current Commissioner, a native of Akwa Ibom State whose second tenure expires next month, finished his first term in 2018 and instead of allowing Cross River to take its slots, played a fast one on the state and got a reappointment.
This happened despite President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration placing a lot of Cross Riverians in very critical positions in the national. Instead of the past administration collaborating with leaders from the state at the federal to ensure we had our due, our leaders were busy fighting themselves until we lost it.
Fortunately, we have a great opportunity to correct this wrong now. Therefore, let me join Chief Okoi Obono-obla, who has been creating serious awareness around this issue to call on our governor, Sen. Bassey Otu, our ministers, Sen. John Owan-Enoh and Dr Betta Edu and our National Assembly members to do everything within their powers to ensure that the position rotates to Cross River State this time around.
Some Cross River leaders are very influential in President Tinubu’s administration. They should discuss with the governor to agree on a name that they can all push to be appointed. If our leaders go to Abuja to work across purposes, there’ll open room for the powerful Senate President who hails from Akwa Ibom to have his way to snatching the position again.
The gains of having such an office from the state can not be overemphasised. Cross River is currently one of the most disadvantaged states in terms of the number of people in the federal civil service. Let’s correct this by having a federal commissioner in the civil service who’ll always protect the interests of the state during recruitment.
I also call on our national assembly members to consider sponsoring a bill that’ll make it mandatory for the rotation of this position between states that are merged to have one federal commissioner. There should be legislation stopping the dominance of one state over another.
As a state, we must not let this slide! Let’s go all out and get it.