(By Fred Itua – ABUJA)
Lawmakers have rejected the list of 46 ambassadorial nominees presented to the Senate by President Buhari. This comes barely 24 hours after APC party governors expressed their displeasure over the nominees.
The Senate has returned the list to the President to rework for subsequent approval.
On Monday Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, acting on behalf of President Buhari, had a meeting with six APC Governors, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, as well as Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir David Lawal, where they protested a lack of consultation by the presidency before the names were forwarded to the National Assembly.
During the meeting, Osinbajo had promised that every crucual stakeholder of the ruling party will be carried along in future appointments, especially the soon-to-be made board appointments.
The Senate opted to return the non-career ambassadorial nominees to Buhari, sequel to the report presented to the Chamber by the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu.
After presenting the report of the committee on the screening of the career list, Sunmonu told lawmakers that the Committee had been inundated with over 250 petitions from members of the public protesting against the lopsided composition of the non-career ambassadorial list.
Senator Sunmonu observed that the petitions received against the 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees were overwhelming.
Accordingly, she advised the Senate to return the list to the President so that he could prepare and present what would be acceptable to Nigerians.
Heeding this advice, the Leader of the Senate, Senator Ali Ndume, moved a motion, seconded by the Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, urging the Upper Chamber to return the list to the President.
When the President of the Senate put the motion to voice vote, it was overwhelmingly supported by the lawmakers, who appeared to have resolved the issue during its short closed-door session, as there was no dissenting voice to the resolution.
Those on the rejected list include a former Senator and a chieftain of APC from Lagos state, Olorunimbe Mamora. A former deputy governor of Plateau state, PauIine Tallen had earlier rejected her nomination, citing family demands.
Others are Mrs Uzoma E. Emenike (Abia), Dr. Clifford Zirra (Adamawa), Maj. Gen. Godwin G. Umo (Rtd) (Akwa Ibom), Christopher J.N. Okeke (Anambra), Yusuf Tugar (Bauchi), Baba Madugu (Bauchi), Brig. Gen. Stanley Diriyai (Bayelsa) and Dr. Enyantu Ifenne (Benue).
Mohammed Hayatuddeen (Borno), Dr. Etubom N.E Asuquo (Cross River), Francis Efeduma (Delta), Mr. Jonah M. Odo (Ebonyi), Uyagwe Igbe (Edo), Ayodele L. Ayodeji (Ekiti), Maj. Gen. Chris Eze (Enugu), Alhaji Suleiman Hassan (Gombe) and Amin Muhammad Dalhatu (Jigawa) were also on the list.
Other names on the list are Muhammad Yaro (Kaduna), Deborah S. Iliya (Kaduna), Professor D. Abdulkadir (Kano), Alhaji Haruna Ungogo (Kano), Justice Isa Dodo (Katsina), Dr. Usman Bugaje (Katsina), Professor Tijjani Bande (Kebbi), Professor Y.O. Aliu (Kogi), Nuruddeen Mohamed (Kwara) and Professor Mohamed G. Yisa (Kwara), Justice George Adesola Oguntade (Lagos), Mrs Modupe Irele (Lagos), Musa Ilu Muhammad (Nasarawa), Mohammed Ibeto (Niger), Mr. Ade Asekun (Ogun), Sola Iji (Ondo), Adegboyega A. Ogunwusi (Osun), Maj. Gen. Ashimiyu A. Olaniyi (Oyo), Haruna Bawa Abdullahi (Plateau), Orji Ngofa (Rivers), Justice Sylvanus Adeiwere Nsofor (Rivers), Jamila Ahmadu-Suka (Sokoto), Hon. Kabiru Umar (Sokoto), Alhaji Mustapha jaji (Taraba), Goni Modu Zanna Bura (Yobe), Alhaji Garba Gajam (Zamfara) and Abdullahi Uba Gardabi (Zamfara).
On the 47 career ambassadorial nominees earlier screened by the Committee, the Senate confirmed all of them, after initial opposition by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.
However, the Chairman of the Committee and other members including senators James Manager, Bala Na’Allah and Gbenga Ashafa, among others, said that the screening was conducted without a political agenda, urging the Senate to confirm all of them.
Manager explained that it was “stage fright” and not incompetence that made the nominees to encounter difficulty in the recitation of the the anthem, appealing that the minor hiccup was not sufficient to prevent their appointment.
Those who were confirmed 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), Enoch Pear Duchi (Kaduna), Garba Baba (Kano), Usman Bakori Aliyu (Katsina) Umar Zainab Salisu (Kebbi) ; Momoh Sheidu Omeiza (Kogi) and Kadiri Audu (Kwara).
Other confirmed nominees include Balogun Hakeem (Lagos); Inusa Ahmed (Nasarawa) Ibrahim Isah (Niger) Bankole Adegboyega Adeoye (Ogun) Ibidapo-Obe Oluwasegun (Osun) Ogundero Sakirat (Oyo) Eric A. Bell-Gam (Rivers) Attahiru Halliru (Sokoto) Rahmatu Dunama (Taraba) ; Musa Mamman (Yobe) and Kabiru Bala (Zamfara).
Also confirmed by the Senate 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 Abubakar Ibrahim (Gombe) Rabiu Akawu (Kano), Nonye Udo (Anambra), Odeka Janet Bisong (Cross River) and Sonaike Adekunbi Abibat (Ogun). (The Sun)