Senate Suspends Screening Of Buhari’s Ambassadorial Nominees

Senate-BuhariThe Senate on Wednesday suspended the confirmation of the 47 ambassadorial nominees forwarded to it by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.
The Senate took the decision following complaints that some states were not represented in the list forwarded to it by the president.
Majority of the senators, who spoke during plenary, were aghast that such an important list of career diplomats, which ordinarily should reflect federal character but did not, could be sent by the executive for confirmation.
In his contribution, Senator Sunday Ogbuoji (PDP/Ebonyi South) claimed that the list had Assistant Directors while Directors, who were qualified, were left out.
Also speaking, Senator Shehu Sani (APC/Kaduna Central), said that many states have complained that they have no representative in the ministerial list.
At the plenary, Senate President Bukola Saraki revealed that his office has been inundated with petitions regarding those states that were not captured in the list, noting that the situation had put him under pressure.
Saraki stressed that the suspension was to enable states that were not represented on the list to be given their own opportunity before screening begins.
He said, “Distinguished Colleagues, in the last two weeks, after the submission of the ambassadorial list, there have been petitions from various quarters bothering on why some states like Bayelsa, and Taraba were omitted”.
Senator Foster Ogola (PDP/Bayelsa West), explained that the omission of an indigene of Bayelsa State from the list was an insult to his reputation as it has been mistaken by his constituents to mean that he was not representing them well.
While wondering why Bayelsa, a state that generates 40 per cent of the nation’s revenue could be treated in such manner, Senator Ogola urged the Senate to step down the proposed screening until the anomaly was rectified.
“Mr. Senate President, Distinguished Colleagues, let the proposed screening be stepped down until the Foreign Affairs Ministry has captured Bayelsa and other states before we do anything. How can Bayelsa State that generates 40% of the nation’s oil revenue be left out?” the senator fumed.
In the same vein, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha (PDP/Taraba South) expressed disappointment that Taraba was completely left out, insisting that the right thing must be done before the screening commences.
Bwacha also averred that there was no need for batch by batch screening.
Upholding the step down of the screening, Senate President Saraki in his remarks after putting to prayers, also referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs to report back in a week’s time.
Senate also voted in favour of the motion by Senator Joshua Dariye (PDP/Plateau Central) that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama be summoned to explain the irregularities surrounding the Ambassadorial nominees List.


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