By Milcah Tanimu
Pelumi Olajengbesi, an Abuja-based human rights lawyer, has advised President Bola Tinubu to adhere to the federal character principle in his appointments to public service and institutions in Nigeria. In a statement released on Friday, Olajengbesi emphasized the diverse nature of Nigeria, which includes various religions, ethnicities, languages, and geographic regions. He stressed the importance of ensuring that government appointments reflect this diversity, cautioning against clannish appointments that could endanger Nigeria’s emerging democracy.
Olajengbesi pointed out the trend in President Tinubu’s appointments, expressing concern about the dominance of individuals from the Yoruba ethnic group. He urged the President not to repeat the mistakes of his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, who made similar appointments favoring his own ethnic group. The lawyer emphasized that adherence to the federal character principle, as outlined in Section 318 of the 1999 Constitution, is essential to promote national unity, loyalty, and a sense of belonging among all citizens.
Quoting the national anthem, Olajengbesi highlighted the importance of unity, stating that Nigeria’s progress depends on the inclusion of all ethnicities, religious groups, and regions in the government. He concluded his statement by urging President Tinubu to embrace the spirit of national unity for the benefit of Nigeria’s fragile democracy.