As Presidency commends Senate over thorough screening of Ambassadorial nominees
By Henry Umoru & Joseph Erunke
ABUJA- SENATE President Bukola Saraki yesterday read the riot act to all the 47 Ambassadorial Nominees that were screened by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, saying that they must represent Nigeria positively in the countries they were posted to.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja when the screened Ambassadorial nominees were presented to him, Senator Saraki who noted that they have made history by going through the screening exercise, however charged the executive to quickly as possible forward names of non career nominees to the Senate on resumption in September, for thorough screening exercise, saying “the earlier we have substantive ambassadors at our various foreign posts , the better at this critical time of repositioning the country for better”.
“The ministerial nominees, as you go forward are taking position in the history of the country. Going forward, they will be representing our country on the global stage.
“We appeal to you to please make us proud, though there are challenges, I urge you to look at things differently in your service to the nation. As you know, it is in the interest of our country to have ambassadors all over, as the absence will slow down bilateral relations. I wish you all the best.
Out of the 47 ambassadorial nominees, Borno State has the highest number with 3, Kwara, Edo, Ekiti and Anambra states having two each while remaining states except Bayelsa, Ondo, Plateau and Ebonyi states have one each.
The Presidency on its part yesterday hailed the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, over what it described as “thorough and intellectual” manner in which the screening exercise of the ambassadorial nominees sent to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari was carried out.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant on National Assembly Matters( Senate), Senator Ita Enang who described the screening exercise as the most thorough he had witnessed, he also commended the Senator Monsurat Sunmonu-led committee for dedication and commitment.
Senator Enang spoke when he led a delegation of the Ambassadorial nominees immediately after the screening exercise which was concluded yesterday on a courtesy visit to the Senate President, Bukola Saraki.
He said, “Let me use this opportunity to commend the Senate committee for the way and manner in which the screening exercise was carried out. I must say it is the most thorough and intellectual I’ve seen in my time here.
”Also, the committee has demonstrated by its decision to screen the nominees despite the Senate being on recess that it is committed and dedicated to service of our dear nation.”
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday rounded off the screening of all 47 ambassadorial nominees.
The screening which lasted three days took place at the National Assembly in Abuja with Senator Monsurat Summonu Charing the committee.
At the end of the exercise yesterday, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Monsurat Summonu who thanked her colleagues and the press for their hardwork despite the recess, said, “We give Glory to God that 47 people have been screened the exercise we started on Tuesday.
“On behalf of the Senate being led by our Senate president, Bukola Saraki and all the principal officers and the Senate committee on foreign affairs, I will like to express my gratitude to my colleagues for sacrificing their time.
“They laid petitions last week and discussed the petition and agreed to screen the 47 nominees. This is a big sacrifice. We decided to cancel everything and put national interest first,” she said.
Others members of the Foreign Affairs Committee who were around include the Deputy Chairman, Senator Shehu Sani; Senator James Manager; Senator Clifford Ordia; Senator Sunny Ogbuoji; Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe; Senator Shaaba Lafiagi, Senator Olugbenga Ashafa, others.
Bakor Aliyu Usman from katsina state, Eric Bell-gam from Rivers state, Inusa Ahmed from Nassarawa state, Bankole Adegboyega Adeoye from Ogun state and Attahiru Halliru from Sokoto state were the ambassadorial nominees that screened yesterday.
More so, D. A Agev from Benue state, T. Gongulong from Borno state, Hamzat Ibrahim from katsina state, Oguntunwase Emmanuel Kayode from Ekiti state, Ibidapo Oluwasegun from Osun state, Abu Abubakar from Gombe state and Adamu Shaibu from Federal Capital Territory were also screened yesterday.
Those screened on the first day which was Tuesday: Vivian Nwunaku Okeke(Anambra), Enoch Pear Duchi(Kaduna), Ibrahim Isah (Niger), Hakeem Balogun(Lagos) Jane Ada Ndem (Benue) Sakirat Ogundero (Oyo), Lilian Ijeukwu Onoh(Enugu), Kenneth Nwachukwu(Imo) and Baba Garba (Kano), Audu Ayinla Kadiri (Kwara), Rabiu Akawu (Kano), Salisu Umaru (Adamawa), Janet Omoleegho Olisa(Delta), Hassan Mohammed Hassan (Borno), Manaja Tulah Isah(Gombe).
Those screened the second day being Wednesday: Sunday Itegboye, Edo state; Iliyasu . A. Paragalda, Adamawa state; Iyang Udoh-Inyang, Akwa-Ibom state; Obinna Chukwuemeka Agbugba, Abia state; Martins Nyong Cobham, Cross river state; Ngozi Ukaeje, Imo state; Rahmatu Dunama, Taraba state; Nonye Esther Udo, Anambra state; Munir Liman, Bauchi state; Odeka Janet Bisong, Cross River state; Umaru Zainab-Salisu, Kebbi state; and Momoh Saidu Omeiza, Kogi state, Kabiru Bala, Zamfara state; Queen Nworlu, Edo state; Abibat Sonaike Ogun state; Michael Femi Abikoye, Kwara state; Musa Saban Maman, Yobe state; Bello Kazaure, Jigawa state; Adesesan Olatunde, Ekiti state.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday, June 9, released the list of Ambassadorial nominees to the Senate president, Bukola Saraki and he read out the list of the 47 ambassadors on the floor of the Senate.
According to the letter, the nominees are career diplomats who will oversee Nigeria’s mission outside the country.