Screening of Ambassadorial Nominees on Hold – Senate
23 June 2016 National
The Senate on Wednesday has put on hold much expected confirmation of the 47 ambassadorial nominees forwarded to it by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.
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 of the ambassadorial nominees submitted by Buhari to the Senate.
According to him, the situation has put him under pressure, while stressing that the solution was to ensure that those states that were not represented be given their own opportunity before screening of the ambassadorial nominees 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 Senatorial District explained that the omission of Bayelsa slot from the list was damaging his reputation as it has been taken by his constituents to mean that he was not representing them well.
He urged the Senate that the proposed screening be stepped down until states like Bayelsa and others were reflected, wondering why Bayelsa State that generates 40% of the nation’s revenue should be treated in such manner.
“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?
In the same vein, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha also expressed disappointment that Taraba was completely left out, insisting that the right thing must be done before the screening commences. He also averred that there was no need for batch by batch screening.
Upholding the step down of the screening, Senate President in his remark after putting to prayers, also referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs to report back in a week’s time.
The Senate also resolved that the Minister of foreign Affairs be summoned to explain how they arrived at the nomination of career diplomats that left out some states.