…Mr. President is Not to Blame – Ebonyi APC
By Oginyi Ruth and Nwogha Ndubuisi Andy
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed a dead former lawmaker from Ebonyi State, Chief Tobias Okwuru, as a member of the Board of the Federal Character Commission.
Recall that Citizens’ Advocate reports the death of Chief Okwuru on February 28, 2019.
Late Okwuru’s appointment, it was gathered, came alongside 37 others, and was contained in a letter Buhari sent to the Senate on March 24, 2020, for confirmation.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had on Tuesday, read the letter during plenary.
It was gathered that the late Okwuru, who hitherto, represented Ikwo/Ezza South Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives, died at the age of 59.
Until his death, Okwuru served as the Auditor of the Peoples Democratic Party in Ebonyi State; Chief Whip of the Ebonyi State House of Assembly; and later represented his constituency at the National Assembly.
All Progress Congress (APC) in Ebonyi State has cleared the air on news making round that President Mohammed Buhari recently appointed a dead man, Tobias Okwuru into his Government.
The appointment of Okwuru, who was a former member representing Ezza South/ Ikwo Federal constituency, sparked off condemnations in the media.
But Pastor Eze Nwachukwu Eze while addressing journalists in Abakaliki on the development Wednesday explained it was all the fault of APC in Ebonyi State who failed to write to the president and the national secretary of the party after the demise of Hon. Tobias Okwuru who died in February after he was nominated for the position by the party in January, 2020.
“I called to clear the air. Mr. President didn’t appoint a dead man into office. Tobias Chukwuemeka Okwuru, was a staunch member of our party and we recommended his nomination. He submitted his CV by himself and our recommendation was honoured by Mr. President. What happened was that in between his appointment and letter to the Senate, Tobias Okwuru died.”
“It was indeed our responsibility as a party to write to the National Chairman, to Mr. President and state the position, clear that he had gone, but unfortunately and coincidentally his death came when several issues that regards our national chairman was on. Tobias died in February, exactly the time we had issue with the seat of our national chairman and immediately that issue ended, there came this issue of coronavirus that brought about lock-down. So it was our own responsibility to put the record straight and that is why this press conference.
“It is not Mr. President’s fault it’s our fault as a party in the State and we wholeheartedly admit that and it was not intentional, it was not deliberate, it was taken over by circumstances,” Nwachukwu said.
The APC State chairman appealed to the federal government to give Ebonyi State another chance to nominate another member of their party to the position.
“Mr. President has not appointed any dead man from Ebonyi. Tobias was alive as at the time of his nomination, we all want to use this opportunity to appeal to Mr. President to still give us that opportunity to quickly in no distance time bring a substitute. We have good number of people in Ebonyi State APC who can fit into that office.”
“We want to use this opportunity to officially announce to the party, his demise, the burial arrangement is still on course when the family concludes, we will communicate them.
It will interest you to know that Tobias Chukwuemeka Okwuru, one of those appointed into the Federal Character Commission (FCC) by President Muhammadu Buhari had died in February this year.
The Senate on Tuesday had confirmed the appointment of Okwuru, a former House of Reps member, and other members of the Commission.
Muheeda Dankaka was appointed the Chairman of the FCC by the President.
He also appointed 36 other members of the commission who included; Henry Ogbulogo, Salihu Bello, Obonganwan Ebong, Ibeabuchi Uche, Mohammed Tijjani, Tonye Okio, Silas Macikpah, Abba Monguno and Nsor Atamgba.
Others in the list are, Alims Agoda, Tobias Chukwuemeka, Imuetinyan Festus, Sesan Fatoba, Ginika Florence Tor, Hamza Mohammed, Diogu Uche, Lawan Roni and Hadiza Muazu.
Also appointed are Muhammad Na’iya, Lawal Garba, Abubakar Bunu, Idris Bello, Daniel Kolo, Are Bolaji, Nasir Kwarra, Maj. Gen. Suleiman Said (rtd) and Abiodun Akinlade.
Buhari also appointed Olufemi Omosanya, Adeoye Olalekan, Adeniyi Olowofela, Stephen Jings, Wokocha Augustine, Abdullahi Tafida, Armaya’u Abubakar, Jibril Maigari, Sani Garba and Adamu Sidi-Ali.
The appointments were contained in a letter which was read out by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, on Tuesday.
The president wrote the Senate seeking confirmation of the appointments.