By Ime Silas

The three senators representing Akwa Ibom state in the red chamber of the National Assembly have decried what they described as disenfranchisement of indigenes of the state in the scheme of federal appointments.

The lawmakers, whose position was contained in a petition they submitted at the floor of the Senate yesterday, expressed dismay over the removal of the Ag. Director-General of the Security and Exchange Commission, SEC, Mary Uduk, from the list of persons submitted to the Senate for appointment consideration.

The petition submitted by the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom state National Assembly Caucus, Distinguished Sen. Bassey Albert, on behalf of his colleagues reads thus in full:

Sen. Bassey Albert presenting petition at Senate floor

PETITION ON PERCEIVED UNDER REPRESENTATION OF AKWA IBOM STATE IN NATIONAL APPOINTMENTS

We write to solicit your urgent intervention to ensure that the good people of Akwa Ibom State are not further marginalized in Federal Appointments.

The appointments so far made by the Federal Government appear lopsided as only two of such appointments have benefitted persons from Akwa Ibom State namely: Senator Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the President on NDDC Matters and Mr. Umana O. Umana, CEO of Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority.

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The Akwa Ibom people were expectant that a third appointment for the underrepresented state of Akwa Ibom was well on its way when Mary Uduk, (from Akwa Ibom State) who had worked over thirty years at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was appointed as the Ag. Director-General of the Commission in April 2018 (See attached Annexures).

Regrettably, that expectation was not fulfilled as her name was removed from the list of board members for the Securities and Exchange Commission recently submitted to the Senate for confirmation. The names presented to the Senate include Mr. Lamido A. Yuguda for the position of Director General and Reginald C. Karawusa, Ibrahim D Boyi, and Joseph Obisan (for full-time Commissioners).

Mary Uduk is eminently qualified having worked for over thirty years in the capital market and led efforts on protecting investors and developing a capital market that facilitates the development of the Nigerian economy. She has served the Commission in various senior and leadership roles spanning various departments.

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She represents Nigeria in regional and international bodies such as the West African Capital Market Integration Council (WACMIC), Africa/Middle-East Regional Committee (AMERC), and is currently on the board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) the international standards setter for securities regulation.

We have great faith in Nigeria’s democracy and in the role of the Senate in our democracy and the very competent leadership which you are providing. We, therefore, appeal to the leadership of the Senate to look into this systematic disenfranchisement of the Akwa Ibom people in Federal appointments especially bearing in mind the Federal Government agenda for greater inclusion and representation of women in executive and senior positions.

We are confident that you will intervene and right this wrong.

SENATOR BASSEY ALBERT AKPAN
Akwa Ibom North-East Senatorial District,
Chairman, Akwa Ibom State National Assembly Caucus

SENATOR CHRISTOPHER EKPENYONG Akwa Ibom North-West Senatorial District

SENATOR AKON EYAKENYI
Akwa Ibom South Senatorial District