“I am worth over N10B…” is the new motto of the Federal Character Commission and it is coming as a result of the “innovative mindset” of Madame Dankaka.
Before now, Hajiya Dankaka was largely known to be arrogant, rude and daring in her dealings over official matters and her relationship with staff and her co-commissioners, but now, it is also known that not only is she extremely wealthy; courtesy of her “I am worth over N10B…” slogan, she is also a very strong woman – but then, which progressive country really needs strong individuals in a dispensation where nations are emphasizing on building strong institutions?
It is against this background that what started as a personality crisis which could have been resolved by a show of managerial competence has snowballed into a national embarrassment courtesy of an all knowing yet primitive Muheeba Dankaka who only thrives on picking needless street fights backed by a N10B war-chest.
Appearing confused, abandoned and ashamed before the senate committee on federal character before national TV cameras, my instincts tell me she was actually planning to collapse like Professor Pondei of the NDDC but didn’t know if to fall forward or backwards or even sideways.
First was an attempt to replace constitutionally appointed federal commissioners with private consultants answerable to her alone under a profit sharing formula followed by an infamous concessioning of 50 percent of recruitment slots to her kinsmen in an unprecedented employment racket ever known in the civil service.
Next was an attempt to cast aspersion on Abba Seriki; the most trusted aide of President Muhammadu Buhari who manages His domestic affairs followed by another attempt to vilify Mallam Nasir El Rufai and His Kwara State counterpart, Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq – both being one of the most trusted followers of President Buhari.
While the issue of awarding contracts above statutory limits is still in the air, Hajiya Dankaka chooses to dance naked in the market square issuing threats to the effect that with her links to Aliko Dangote, a N10B net worth and Lai Mohammed, her position is so assured that she will outlive the government of President Muhammadu Buhari. So deep is her disdain for President Buhari that she is already scheming to outlive his administration.
While it is normal for persons with complex crisis to sometimes go overboard due to a feeling of paranoia, a fundamental question that craves for an answer is the nexus between the career of Hajiya Dankaka as a public servant and the existence of a certain N10B somewhere.
Perhaps, this is where the senate committee on federal character may urgently invite the EFCC to carry out a forensic audit of all public offices wherein Hajiya Dankaka has served as head because if nothing else, this latest boast coming directly from the woman in the centre of the storm proves that indeed there are elements of truth in reports surrounding her unholy alliance with her self-appointed consultants and also some contractors of the commission.
At this stage, while it is clear that Hajiya Dankaka is simply an executive recruitment error which must be corrected, it is only fair that she be given fair hearing and that must start with her immediate handing off the reins of office to enable an independent panel work with her co-commissioners and staff to unravel the source of this N10B.
It is ironic that whereas Hajiya Dankaka is ever ready to claim she has about 10 of 36 federal commissioners on her side, these co-conspirators in the campaign to destroy the concept of national unity have failed to show face anywhere in public or even raise a finger in her defence before Nigerians who looked forward to a world class institution driving inclusiveness in public service only to find in the commission a backward thinking, rudderless and moribund agency with a wicked and problematic chairman lacking necessary exposure required to drive corporate governance.
Indeed, the federal character commission may have its internal problems but it is important to note that in searching for a solution to those problems, Hajiya Dankaka became a more toxic problem which is now threatening the image of the commission.
While it is a good development that the senate of Nigeria has launched a probe, that probe must be followed up with an oversight visit to the commission, an invitation of the public to present papers on the suitability or otherwise of Hajiya Dankaka to remain in office, a psychiatric evaluation of Hajiya Dankaka to measure her level of tolerance and a proper background check on her.
The EFCC must show interest in this matter by starting a forensic analysis of her personal financial records, spending pattern and statement of net worth. The ICPC must quickly verify all contracts awarded by her in the last 5 years in her capacity as a public servant to measure the quality of work delivered and most importantly sample the opinion of staff of the procurement staff of all agencies she has headed in the last years.
Nigerians must rise to the occasion to save the federal character commission from Hajiya Dankaka who appears to only be on a mission to steal, kill and destroy like her mentor and this effort must start with the esteemed secretary of the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha reining in Hajiya Dankaka without further delay. A commission with over 35 capable federal commissioners should not be held down by one rotten egg.
Sani Ojochegbe, Department of Business Administration, Kogi State University, Ayingba.