Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has urged the Federal Character Commission to adopt stringent measures to ensure fair representation of the state at the federal level.
Mr Diri spoke on Wednesday in Yenagoa when he hosted Muheeba Dankaka, the chairperson of the commission.
A statement by the governor’s spokesperson, Daniel Alabrah, quoted Mr Diri as saying that he noticed imbalances in federal placements when he was a member of the House of Representatives.
The governor called on the commission to correct the “existing imbalance and ensure that Bayelsa got its due.”
He alleged that available vacancies at the federal level were hardly brought to the knowledge of the government and people of the state, and urged the commission to start doing that.
“It is only when we know of the vacancies that we can take advantage of the opportunities.
“If the imbalances affecting Bayelsa and a few other states are addressed, the agitations in some states will reduce significantly,” said Mr Diri, who described the commission as crucial to the unity and stability of Nigeria given the numerous ethnic groups clamouring for justice.
“The Federal Character Commission is inevitable in a heterogeneous society like ours. The commission can sort out a lot of the inequality and challenges we face because of our heterogeneous nature.
“It is a very good weapon in solving the issues of ethnicity and mutual suspicion among ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria.
“I like to place on record that Bayelsa State is under-represented. Bayelsa is one of the states that have been cheated over the years and the inequality in relation to other states is so high that we request that your commission addresses this imbalance,” he said.
The governor expressed the willingness of the state government to work with the commission to achieve set goals, and urged the members to shun partisanship in the performance of their duties.
Mrs Dankaka, in her remark, said the commission was established to promote national unity and foster a sense of belonging among Nigerians.
She assured the governor that Bayelsa would get its fair share of federal jobs and amenities.
The commission, she said, was consulting widely to ensure that the federal character principle was also practiced at the state level.
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