(Dennis Mernyi, ABUJA)
The Presidency has come under heavy criticism over non inclusion of nominees from some four States for ambassadorial appointment already sent to the National Assembly for screening.
President Mohammadu Buhari had recently sent a 47 man list to the legislature for confirmation for appointed into Nigeria’s foreign missions abroad but some states like Bayelsa, home state of former President Goodluck Jonathan, Plateau, Ebonyi and Ondo were not represented.
In a petition to President Mohammadu Buhari and the President of the Senate of the Federal Republic, Senator Bukola Saraki, a copy obtained by newsmen in Abuja, a former member of the House of Representatives from Bayelsa state, Hon. Bolous S. Indiamaowei want government to include nominee from the state jus as the other three states on the list.
Indianaowe further averred that while other states have about three nominees, Bayelsa state and three others have none.
But the Presidency had explained that the affected four states don not have qualified candidates for consideration.
The Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF), Mr David Babachir Lawal has faulted the reasons given by the Senate for rejecting the list of ambassadorial nominees, based on protest by representatives of the affected states that the nomination is not a reflection of the federal character whereas according to him, the principles of the federal character as constitutionally provided was fulfilled.
He claimed that the missed out states did not have people in the diplomatic service that met the set criteria for selecting ambassadors of Nigeria. The Senate had, among other misgivings, rejected the list of 47 nominees sent to the Upper Chamber for screening and confirmation by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying the constitutional provision of federal character was not adequately reflected as four states did not have nominees.
Dismissing government’s claims that the affected states have no qualified officers to be nomited, the former law maker said, his investigations have revealed that , “there are currently at least two Bayelsans in the Foreign service on grade levels 16 who have met all criteria set for the field of selection.
He said the non inclusion of names of Bayelsans on the ambassador designate is a clear violation of the Federal character principles of equitable representation.