HEADLINE – ‘’OUR MANDATE IS CLEAR’’ RIDER – ‘’IDEA OF MERGER BLAMED ON LACK OF PUBLICITY OF P.C.C ACTIVITIES’’
18 May 2015
In an apparent reaction to the announcement of the Federal Government regarding its decision to merge the Public Complaints Commission with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the authorities of the Public Complaints Commission (P.C.C) recently embarked on a media tour emphasizing the importance and roles of P.C.C as a societal watchdog in the pursuit of truth.
The sensitization efforts which was anchored by the Commission’s publicity and enlightenment committee during its visits to selected media houses focused more on clearing the air on the much talked about plans by the Federal authorities to merge both P.C.C and NHRC. The committee indicated that the National Assembly was unwilling to either scrap the Commission merge it with another agency.
Prof. Deremi Abubakre, the Osun State P.C.C Commissioner who led the group opined that ‘’the idea to merge P.C.C with a particular government agency might perhaps be largely attributed to non-publicity of P.C.C various activities in the past years’’.
According to him, ‘’our mandate is clear; the merger issue definitely came up prior to the repositioning agenda of today’s P.C.C’’.
Abubakre described the functions of the nation’s No. 1 Ombudsman Office just like that of journalism practice which people of goodwill normally commend their positive efforts, while at the same time their activities also attract the ire of some other elements within the same society who are always enmeshed in wrong doings.
Prof. Abubakre reiterated the strategic relevance of P.C.C in our contemporary society and posited that its services were most needed more than ever before since it was established in 1975 with a clear mandate of restoring the dignity of man, enthronement of rule of law and protection of the individual/organisation from all sorts of injustice particularly in administrative matters which are germane to the desirous path to true nationhood.
He further made it known that the present challenges being faced by the Commission would soon be a thing of the past particularly in the area of its finance by the government once the Commission’s statutory funding is placed on the first line charge
which would in effect make the Ombudsman office to be truly independent, restructured and informed.
The P.C.C functionaries also disclosed during the courtesy visit that Nigerians were not happy with the country’s pension managements system adding that pension related issues took a staggering 60% of all the complainants received by the Commission just last year.
The P.C.C team includes Hon. Timothy Jiya Saba and Hon. Chelly Usoro Okoko who are also Federal Commissioners of Public Complaints Commission in charge of Kwara and Akwa Ibom State Offices respectively.
Others in the entourage are Mr Chukemeka Nwosu (head, of Public relations at the Commission’s Headquarters, Abuja) and Mr Olaoye Olatunji Isiaka, a principal information officer from the Osun State Office of the Commission.
The P.C.C team visited both print and electronic media houses which include The Punch, The Nation, Compass and Tribune Newspapers all of the print genre.
While the electronic media organisations that hosted the P.C.C entourage were NTA stations operating at Victoria Island, Tejuosho and Ibadan respectively.
Similarly, Channels and Murhi televisions in Lagos also played host to P.C.C publicity and enlightenment committee members during the media tour.