Some aggrieved workers of the National Pension Commission (PenCom), under the aegis of Pension Reform Advocacy Group, have petitioned the Senate, expressing opposition to the confirmation of Aisha Dahiru-Umar, as the substantive Director General (DG) of the agency.
Dahiru-Umar, who is currently acting as the DG of the agency, was nominated by the President Muhammadu Buhari, penultimate week, to be confirmed by the Senate for the position.
Some senators led by the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, opposed the nomination of Dahiru-Umar, and argued that her appointment did not only contradict the principles of federal character but also the Act that established PenCom.
However, a group which claimed to be workers of the agency have sent a petition to the office of the Senate President, asking the red chamber to stay further action on her confirmation.
A copy of the petition, signed by one Alhaji Isyaku Abdulrahman, on behalf of the workers, was obtained by our correspondent on Sunday.
It was dated October 6, 2020.
The petition titled ‘Confirmation of Aisha Dahir Umar as Director-General PENCOM’, was addressed to the Senate President.
The petitioners alleged that apart from the allegation of nepotism, the nominee was not competent for the office.
It recalled that a similar petition dated June 12, 2019 was addressed to the Senate, regarding the alleged ‘flagrant violation of procurement process, abuse of office and criminal diversion of public funds’.
The petitioners cautioned that going ahead with her confirmation would make a mockery of the anti-corruption crusade of the Buhari regime.
The petition read in part, “Her nomination constitutes an affront on the anti-corruption stance of the Federal Government and transparency in public office.
“We are aware of your (Senate President) excellent reputation and antecedent as a fearless, brave and astute politician who cannot sacrifice national values on the altar of greed, avarice and personal aggrandisement.
“Therefore, we reject in totality her candidacy and we are confident that thorough investigation will be carried out by the distinguished Senate on her nomination.
“There are eminently qualified persons across the nation for the position of PenCom Director General regardless of ethnic, religious and other orientation.”
The Punch had reported last week that senators from the South-West, South-East and North-Central geopolitical zones opposed the confirmation of Dahiru-Umar, as DG.
They cited alleged breach of certain provisions of the National Pension Commission Act 2014 in her appointment.
They cited the provisions of Section 20(1) and section 21(1) and (2) of the National Pension Commission Act 2014 to oppose her confirmation.
They argued that the erstwhile Director General of the board, Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amazu’s appointment, was terminated by Buhari in 2017, two years to the end of her first term.
They noted that the provisions of the Pension Act states that “in the event of a vacancy, the President shall appoint replacement from the geopolitical zone of the immediate past member that vacated office to complete the remaining tenure. – Punch.