Why Senate Rejected President Buhari’s Ambassadorial Nominees
The Senate has rejected the 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees sent to it by President Muhammadu Buhari for approval.
The lawmakers, who said the list would be returned to Buhari “for re-submission and re-jigging,” added that they rejected the nominees because of over 250 petitions against them.
Some notable names on the 46 non-career nominees’ list rejected by the Senate are retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice George Oguntade; a former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Mrs. Paulen Tallen; a former member of the House of Representatives, Usman Bugaje; and a former Deputy Governor of Niger State, Ahmed Ibeto.
Others include Dr. Uzoma Ememke (Abia State), Dr. Clifford Zirra (Adamawa), Maj. Gen. Godwin Umo (retd.) (Akwa Ibom), Christopher Okeke (Anambra), Yusuf Tugar (Bauchi), Baba Madugu (Bauchi), Brig. Gen. Stanley Diriyai (Bayelsa), Dr. Enyantu Ifenne (Benue), Mohammed Hayatuddeen (Borno) and Dr. Etubom Asuquo (Cross River).
Also on the list are Francis Efeduma (Delta), Jonah Odo (Ebonyi), Uyagwe Igbe (Edo), Ayodele Ayodeji (Ekiti), Maj. Gen. Chris Eze (retd.) (Enugu), Suleiman Hassan (Gombe), Amin Dalhatu (Jigawa), Muhammad Yaro (Kaduna), Deborah Iliya (Kaduna), Prof. D. Abdulkadir (Kano), Haruna Ungogo (Kano), Justice lsa Dodo (Katsina), Prof. Tijjani Bande (Kebbi), Prof. Y. O. Aliu (Kogi), Nuruddeen Mohamed (Kwara), Prof. Mohamed Yisa (Kwara), Senator Olorunimbe Mamora (Lagos), Modupe Irele (Lagos), Musa Muhammad (Nasarawa), Ade Asekun (Ogun), Sola Iji (Ondo), Adegboyega Ogunwusi (Osun).
There are also Maj. Gen. Ashimiyu Olaniyi (retd.) (Oyo), Dr. Haruna Abdullahi (Plateau), Orji Ngofa (Rivers), Justice Sylvanus Nsofor (Rivers), Jamila Ahmadu-Suka (Sokoto), Kabiru Umar (Sokoto), Mustapha Jaji (Taraba), Goni Bura (Yobe), Garba Gajam (Zamfara) and Cpt. Abdullahi Garbasi (retd.) (Zamfara).
State governors had protested against their non-involvement in the selection of the non-career ambassadorial nominees by Buhari.
Tallen and Bugaje had rejected their nomination, citing failure to duly consult them.
Imo State and the Federal Capital Territory, which had representatives among the 47 career ambassadorial nominees, did not get any nominee in the non-career batch.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, while presenting the report of the committee on the screening of the 47 career ambassadorial nominees earlier submitted by the President, said much “uproar, noise and petitions” (sic) had greeted the nomination of those on the non-career list.
Sunmonu announced that her committee had received over 250 petitions against the non-career ambassadorial nominees.
“We have received over 250 petitions and we found it difficult to conduct the screening (of the nominees). We have resolved to send the list of the 46 nominees back to the executive for them to look at the issues (with the nominations),” she said.
The Senate, however, confirmed the nomination of the 47 career ambassadors on merit.
The nominees confirmed are Obinna Chukwuemeka (Abia), Salisu Umaru (Adamawa), Inyan Udo-Iyang (Akwa Ibom), Okeke Nwanaku (Anambra), Liman Munir (Bauchi), Ndem Ada (Benue), Mohammed Hassan (Borno), Martin Young Cobham (Cross River), Janet Olisah (Delta) and Itegboje Sunday (Edo).
Others are Olatunde Adesesan (Ekiti), Lilian Onoh (Enugu), Manaja Isa (Gombe), Ngozi Ukaeje (Imo), Bello Husseini (Jigawa), Enoch Duchi (Kaduna), Garba Baba (Kano), Usman Aliyu (Katsina), Umar Salisu (Kebbi), Momoh Omeiza (Kogi) and Kadiri Audu (Kwara).
Also on the list are Balogun Hakeem (Lagos), Inusa Ahmed (Nasarawa), Ibrahim Isah (Niger), Bankole Adeoye (Ogun), Ibidapo-Obe Oluwasegun (Osun), Ogundero Sakirat (Oyo), Eric Bell-Gam (Rivers), Attahiru Halliru (Sokoto), Rahmatu Dunama (Taraba), Musa Mamman (Yobe) and Kabiru Bala (Zamfara).
Also confirmed are Adamu Shuaibu (FCT), D. A. Agev (Benue), T. K. Gongulong (Borno), Ibrahim Hamza (Katsina), K. C. Nwachukwu (Imo), Q. I. Worlu (Edo), E. K. Oguntuase (Ekiti), A. I. Paragalda (Adamawa), L. A. Gasharga (Borno), Olufemi Abikoye (Kwara), Habu Ibrahim (Gombe), Rabiu Akawu (Kano), Nonye Udo (Anambra), Odeka Bisong (Cross River) and Sonaike Abibat (Ogun).
While presenting the report, Sunmonu confirmed that some of the nominees could not recite the national anthem and the national pledge during their screening, while there were those who had less than the mandatory 30 months before their retirement.
She, however, urged the Senate to confirm the appointment of the nominees, saying that the committee had found them worthy of being ambassadors of the country.
Criticising the report, Senator Peter Nwabaoshi said the committee failed to state the nominees who failed to recite the national anthem and the pledge in the report.
He said that it would be bad for an ambassador, who is representing his or her country, to be unable to recite the anthem or pledge of the country.
The Minority Whip of the Senate, Senator Bala ibn Na’Allah, however, said the committee did a thorough job with the screening of the nominees.
He noted that if all the requirements were to be followed and the inadequacies of the nominees taken into account, several states would not be represented on the ambassadorial list.
In his submission, Senator James Manager, a member of the committee who noted that he was present at the screening and actively participated in the exercise, revealed that some of the nominees were jittery when they appeared before the lawmakers.
He recalled that a ministerial nominee once collapsed in the chamber in 2004 when the late Senator Uche Chukwumerije, fired five “serious” questions at the nominee.
Manager said a nominee who had begun to recite the anthem or pledge and there was a “slight confusion” in the process, should be pardoned.
Senator Godswill Akpabio, however, said it was “disgraceful” if a career diplomat had worked and represented his country for close to 30 years without being able to recite the country’s anthem and pledge fluently.
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