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Senate Rejects 46 Non-Career Ambassadorial Nominees

– Confirms 47 Career Nominees

Ayodele Afolabi

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Senate has rejected the entire list of 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees forwarded to it for confirmation by President Muhammadu Buhari last month.

The upper legislative chamber however confirmed the nominations of 47 career nominees earlier forwarded to it by President Buhari in July this year.

The rejection of the 46 non-career nominees was based on a report submitted to that effect by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu (APC Oyo Central).

Sunmonu in her report for confirmation of 47 career nominees already screened by her committee and rejection of 46 non-career nominees, said the imbalance of nominations observed in the list of career nominees was not in anyway, corrected by the President in the non –career list.

According to her, over 250 petitions were received by the committee from aggrieved Nigerians over the imbalance of nominations in the first list where states like Ebonyi, Bayelsa and Plateau had no nominee at all without being addressed by the second list containing names of non –career nominees.

“We thought that the issue of non-equitable representation across the 36 states of the Federation raised on the list of nominated career diplomats by the President will be addressed in that of non-career, but unfortunately, this was not so, in spite of public outcry over it and the committee’s observation to that effect to the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF), David Babachir Lawal during an interface with us before the screening.

“Therefore, we find it difficult to start the screening of the 46 non-career nominees since last month and in fact, proposing to this Senate that the list be returned to the Executive for needed review and re-presentation”, she said.

A recommendation the Senate accordingly approved by rejecting the list through voice votes of the Senators upon a motion moved to that effect by the Senate Leader, Senator Ali Ndume.

Notable nominees in the rejected list are former Senator Olorunibe Mamora from Lagos State, retired Justice of the Supreme Court, George Oguntade (Lagos), Yusuf Tuggar (Bauchi), and immediate past deputy governor of Niger State, Ahmed Ibeto (Niger), whose nomination as a Minister was withdrawn by Buhari in October 2015 etc.

It would be recalled that two out of the prominent politicians on the list – former National Secretary of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) Hon. Usman Bugaje and former Deputy Governor of Plateau State, Mrs. Paullen Tallen, had earlier rejected their nominations.

The Senate in the 47 approved career nominees list, ignored observations made on 14 of them having less than 30 months left to stay in service and three others who couldn’t recite National Anthem during screening despite submissions against their confirmations by Senators Peter Nwaoboshi (PDP Delta North) and the Senate Minority Leader, Godswill Akpabio.

In his remarks after their confirmation, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, urged the entire 47 career – Ambassadors –Designate, to be good ambassadors of the country where ever they are posted.

They are Obinna Chukwuemeka (Abia), Salisu Umaru (Adamawa), Inyan Udo-Iyang(Akwa Ibom), Okeke Vivian Nwanaku(Anambra), Liman Munir(Bauchi), Ndem Jane Ada(Benue), Mohammed Hassan Hassan(Borno), ; Martin Young Cobham(Cross River); Janet Omoleegho Olisah(Delta) and Itegboje Sunday (Edo).

Others are: Olatunde Adesesan(Ekiti) Lilian Ijeukwu Onoh(Enugu) ; Manaja Tulah Isa (Gombe) ; Ngozi Ukaeje(Imo) ; Bello Kazaure Husseini(Jigawa) among others.

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