- Post 19 November 2011
- Last Updated on 19 November 2011
- By Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF THE SENATE CONFIRMATION REQUIREMENT
My humble opinion is that the purpose of the senate confirmation requirement is to ensure that the president appoints only qualified people to high government positions; that the senate’s eyes serve as a second pair of eyes to the president’s. So the constitution wants the executive eyes to take a first look and the senate’s eyes to confirm and hire the selected candidate.
Or to reject the candidate.
Nigerian constitution or rather the framers understood the need to share federal opportunities among the constituting entities. These entities are very fluid. Some times it is composed of states and tribes and sometimes it is composed of beliefs in say religion and at other times advocates of political views. It is possible that Mr. Ngige of Anambra and an Igbo would be in agreement with Tinubu a Yoruba or that the Edo head of Christian Association of Nigeria may be in agreement with a Hausa woman from Kaduna. It is not always a tribal or state of origin question.
Although the constitution uses the term “state of origin” to illustrate a fair sharing of resources, the fluidity in the system ought not to be ignored. But no matter how we strongly believe in the fairness doctrine, quality of the candidate must always override the fairness doctrine.Nigeria has reached a stage in its development where qualified individuals now litter the entire spectrum. All calibers of people can be found in any region, religion, political convictions, men, and women, etc. So the first hurdle to be scaled is whether the candidate is qualified.
This point seems to be always ignored by the senate.
The senate seems to always question the candidate’s state of origin. And when a woman is involved this always seems impossible to determine. Is she from the husband’s state of origin or her father’s? Nigerians should understand that a woman is a person. A woman is not a man’s appendage or part of a man’s being. Even when they are married.
Especially when they are married.
A woman is an individual with separate identity. She can think for her self, act according to her beliefs, some times (hopefully most often) agrees with her husband and sometimes disagrees with her husband. Just as her husband agrees and disagrees with the woman (his wife).
This should be an easy lesson for a 21st century man to understand.
But it seems that this is very difficult for Nigerians to understand. Ms. Roli Bode George is not the same as Mr. Bode George. They are spouses, each with a different character. They fell in love and are in love but that fact does not wipe out their individuality. This fact, the need to separate individuals, came up during the confirmation of Ms. Odili for the Supreme Court position and during Ms. Allison-Madueke’s confirmation.
The troubling fact about the unity of persons in marriage is its inconsistency as advocated by both its supporters and its opponents. In all of the cases that have come into the public focus the issue has been with federal appointments of persons who have married beyond state lines. If the woman is supposed to represent her birth state of origin, her home people go up in arms. If she is to represent her husband’s state of origin her husband’s people also go up in arms. Most often they may be living in a place different from both the husband’s and wife’s state of origin. In the case of Ms. Okonjo-Iweala she and her husband live in USA. She is from Delta and he is from Abia. There have been couples that live in Lagos but neither is from Lagos or in Abuja. Where is their state of origin? The solution for this simple question should be to abolish the requirement for states of origin in Federal non political appointments.
If Ms. Atiku is ordinarily qualified for a position she should be given the post, her place of origin, not withstanding. There is an even more ridiculous point often raised. People who do not like Mr. Bode George would want Ms. Role Bode George disqualified because of Mr. Bode George’s lack of qualification or past sins. Ms Bode George is not Mr. Bode George. One could be a criminal and the others innocence must be preserved.
It is a sin to find both guilty for one person’s sins.
I am a married man and have on many occasions done things my wife did not approve. Should she be punished twice? I have already punished her by disregarding her advice and now she has to be punished again. It is wrong.
I know that in the Christian religion a man and a woman after marriage are supposed to be one, but it should not be so in law.
Nigeria should eliminate the state of origin requirement in jobs requiring technical skills and keep the requirement for positions where representing of interest are required.
Nigeria should treat married women as distinct citizens from their husbands.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
November 18, 2011