Fred Itua, Abuja
The growing opposition to the confirmation of Aisha Dahir-Umar as the substantive Director-General of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), has gained momentum. The latest opposition is coming from the Minority Leader of the Senate, Enyinnaya Abaribe, who in a letter to the chairman, Senate Committee on Establishment, said her nomination was against the law. Abaribe, who was the first to oppose her nomination when the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan read President Muhammadu Buhari’s letter, said in line with the establishment Act of the Commission, the next Director-General must come from the South East. Other senators from the South West, South South and a handful from North Central, recently joined forces with their colleagues from the South East in opposing the nomination.
Abaribe’s letter reads: “I hereby forward herewith a petition in respect to the above subject matter to alert you on the inherent none-adherence to the provision of the Act that established PenCom
“The purpose therewith, is for the distinguished Committee to stop action that could lead to the clearance of the nomination of Mrs. Aisha Dahir-Umar as Director General (DG) of National Pension Commission (PenCom), because her nomination is in flagrant breach of the Act, particularly the section that deals with replacement of the DG when the need arises. May I, draw your attention to section 20 (1) and section 21 (1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014, which state that, “in the event of a vacancy, the President shall appoint a replacement from the geopolitical zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure.
“I recall that the tenure of the incumbent was truncated; therefore the nomination of Mrs. Dahir-Umar by the President that has now moved the DG to another zone is not correct and has breached the Pension Act and the Federal Character Commission.