The indigenes of Akwa Ibom resident in the FCT have appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to forward to the National Assembly the name of acting Director General of Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mrs. Mary Joseph Uduk for immediate confirmation as the substantive DG of the Commission.
This is even as the indigenes under the aegis of Akwa Ibom Community Abuja are alleging that the delay in the confirmation of Mrs. Uduk is on the account that she is from the minority ethnic group, urging President Buhari to further strengthen Nigeria’s bond of unity, fairness and equity by confirming her appointment.
In a release on Friday jointly signed by the President of the group, Barr. Aniefiok Ibah and the Secretary General, Barr. Remigius Edebianga they expressed shock that the delay in the confirmation of Mrs. Uduk is unhealthy, adding that it gives rise to speculations that she may be supplanted despite all she has contributed in the Commission.
“The Community is also concerned over desperate efforts by “powers that be” to scheme out Mary Uduk in favour of Lamido Yuguda on no other grounds than her minority ethnic background. This is condemnable as it is despicable and anachronistic. It qualifies as an attempt to further stick a knife in our fragile unity and also a sad reminder to the disdain with which the Niger Delta region have been treated like an orphan in a nation they have made enormous sacrifices to build.
“We appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to reconsider the confirmation of Mary Uduk who has been in acting capacity for TWO and HALF years. The newly leadership and members of the Board of Federal Character Commission to wade into the matter and guarantee equal representation of all ethnic nationalities in further government`s appointments. The National Assembly should query any appointment that does not represent fairness and equality to all the ethnic nationalities.
“Our demand for her immediate confirmation must not therefore be seen from the narrow prism of ethnic polarity and tribal solidarity but a patriotic move to further lend our support towards consolidating on the reformatory initiatives she has brought into the system over the years. Our call for her immediate confirmation will also provide a veritable platform for the President, Muhammadu Buhari to purge himself of perceived ethnic and religious jingoism that has brought about lopsided appointments in his cabinet in the past 5 years. At a time when the campaign for women inclusiveness and affirmative action is at its peak, failure to confirm Mary Joseph Uduk the substantive Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will be a collective assault on our hard working, resourceful and productive women.
“Most importantly, at a time when our economy is at a crossroad birthed by the devastating effects of COVID-19, the consequences of sacrificing her decades of gainful experience and expertise on the altar of tribal consideration will further strain the strength of Nigerian economy and rob the country of the opportunities and consolidation agenda her confirmation will certainly birth. This is a woman who is not just young but vibrant to contribute meaningfully to the growth and development of her fatherland. This is a woman who in the past THIRTY (30) years has spent her entire career contributing and leading efforts on protecting investors and developing a capital market that facilitates the development of our economy” the release said.
The town union further highlighted other achievements of Mrs. Uduk to include the supervision of application for the first supranational bond, continuous implementation of Direct Cash Settlement, Regularizations of Multiple Subscription, Non-interest Capital Market as well as development of roadmap for a vibrant Commodities Trading Ecosystem.
“In Mary Joseph Uduk is a woman who oversaw the review of application for the first supranational bond floated in Nigeria by a multinational organization, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and closely followed by the African Development Bank (AfDB).
“Among other strategic initiatives under her leadership as the acting Director General of the Commission is the continuous implementation of the initiatives of the Capital Market Master Plan which includes the electronic Dividend Mandate System (E-DMMS), Direct Cash Settlement, Regularizations of Multiple Subscription, Non-interest Capital Market and numerous others.
“Under her leadership, the Commission has witnessed a development of roadmap for a vibrant Commodities Trading Ecosystem and ongoing implementation of same. Between 2018 and now, the Commission has gone into collaboration with the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) on the infusion of Capital Market Studies into the curriculum of Basic and Senior Secondary Schools.
“Mary Joseph Uduk has an enviable track record of excellent performance in the Securities and Exchange industry. The stakeholders of the industry are testament of her capacity and transformational leadership. The results are there and even the blind can visibly see her legacies in the Commission. As part of her vision to engender transparency in the system, the Commission is currently in collaboration with the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to strengthen the integrity of the market by frontally combating Ponzi Schemes, insider dealing, cybercrime and other fraudulent activities in the capital market” it says.
The community while acknowledging that it is the prerogative of the President Buhari to appoint whom he deems to work with also emphasized that such appointments must represent the multiplicity of Nigeria’s ethnic and religious linens.
They urged the President not give Nigerians reason to believe that the prediction by the former military Governor of Kaduna state, Abubakar Umar that his slanted appointments will destroy Nigeria could come to pass by immediately facilitating the process of Mrs. Uduk’s confirmation.