Reps allege lopsidedness in Navy recruitment, demand suspension of exercise

The House of Representatives has said the ongoing recruitment exercise by the Nigerian Navy is unfair and not in compliance with the federal character principle in the Constitution, asking the military outfit to suspend the process.

The House particularly resolved to “direct the Nigerian Navy to suspend forthwith the forthcoming pre-screening exercise for the shortlisted candidates, with a view to strengthening the federal character law as well as to ensure better and more vigorous enforcement and implementation, knowing full well that every Nigerian deserves to be treated with dignity and rights, irrespective of where they may be located physically in the country.”

Also, the House requested the Navy to provide details of all recruitments from 2014 to date, showing their geographical spread.

Furthermore, the House mandated the Committee on Navy to “investigate the exercise and recommend appropriate measures to avoid similar constitutional violations in all future government recruitment and report back within 12 weeks for further legislative action.”

These resolutions were sequel to the unanimous adoption of a motion of urgent public importance to investigate the process of the Nigerian Navy Supplementary Recruitment of 44 candidates “for being against the principle of federal character and in gross violation of Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution.”

Sponsor of the motion, Ben Igbakpa, said all the successful candidates that are to report for training in two batches at the Nigerian Navy Basic Training School Onne, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, “are all from a particular part of the country, which negates the federal character principle of all inclusiveness, equity and fair play.”

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