Kogi Indigenes throws weight behind Amb. Designate,

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—- says allegations about her qualification, a misrepresentation of facts

Kogi State Indigenes working in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ministry Abuja, have commended President Mohammadu Buhari, for appointing
Mrs. Regina Ingekem Ocheni, as Ambassador Designate, insisting that she is an indigene of the State and eminently qualified to be so appionted.

The workers through a rejoinder, that was copied to the Senate President and Director DSSS, urged President Buhari not to allow naked injustice and prejudice against Mrs. Ocheni only because she is a woman.

The workers in their rejoinder said they are happy that the petitioners against Mrs. Ocheni’s, did not fault her integrity or competence, neither does it suggest any negative report against her person or in the line of duty, pointing out that their allegations were based on their ignorance of Service rules and records available to them.

The rejoinder was signed by Comfort Jumai Ali and Ibrahim Abdul, on behalf of Kogi Indigenes in the ministry of foreign affairs and was made available to Newsmen, in Lokoja on Friday.

The state which reads in parts said
“Our attention has been drawn to a petition against nomination of MRS. Regina Ingekem Ocheni an ambassadorial nominee from Kogi state wherein among other issues raised alleged that the said Mrs. Ocheni is not an indigene of Kogi state as she is from Cross River state but married to Professor Ocheni an indigene of Kogi state.
We deem it necessary to respond to the said petition as follows:

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” That Mrs. Ocheni, a worthy indigene of Kogi state, got married to Prof. Ocheni 35 years ago and subsequently obtained Kogi state indigeneship certificate in 1997 with which she was employed by Kogi state government where she worked for years before transferring her service to the federal civil service which confirms the fact that the good people and government of Kogi state have since identified and recognized her as one of their own

” The House of Representatives in May, 2019 at the committee of the whole considered “a bill for an Act to amend the Federal character commission establishment Act 2010 Laws of the federation of Nigeria cap P7 to give married women the option of indigeneship and for other related matters” sponsored by Edward Pwajok amended section 2 of the said Federal character commission establishment act and introduced a new section for the purpose of election and appointment of married women, thereby given married women the Right to choose either their father or husband’s state of origin.

” Section 42 of the constitution of the federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended is very instructive of this issue as it provides for freedom against discrimination, assuming but not conceding that there is any law/rule or circular supporting the position as contained in the petition under reference, the question to then consider is whether the said law or circular takes precedence over the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria which is the ground norm? Our answer is in the negative.

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“The next issue is the allegation that Mrs. Ocheni is not qualified for the position on the ground that she had HND and not a degree and should not be promoted beyond level 14 we state unequivocally as follows;

” That Mrs. Ocheni obtained her Masters degree from the prestigious Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Akwa since 2004 which takes precedence over all her previous qualifications and ably qualifies her for any available job/assignment or appointment in or to any part of the world.

” The allegation that she was transferred to the Federal civil service on grade level 15 is false as she was actually transferred to the federal civil service on grade level 14 but passed her promotion examination organized by the Federal Civil Service commission to GL 15.

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” Foreign service academy training:
It is instructive to state that the above training is determined by staff entry point as such it is not all staff of the ministry of foreign affair that usually undergo such trainings since we are in possession of clear examples of officers who were exempted from the said training.

” On the assertion by Adams Umar Bako in his protest letter to the national assembly claiming that he is the most senior officer from Kogi state and his name was omitted and/or replaced by Mrs. Ocheni, we place on record that Mrs. Ocheni is one year ahead of the said Bako and the records are very clear in the file.

” In conclusion, the petition herein did not impugn on Mrs. Ocheni’s integrity or competence neither does it suggest any negative report against her person or in the line of duty but their grievance is premised on gender discrimination and we state that gender equality is not just a human right issue but also essential for achievement of a sustainable and for a peaceful and prosperous world, as such we urge you not to allow this naked injustice and prejudice against Mrs. Ocheni only because she is a woman”.




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