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The Senate yesterday rejected the list of the 46 ambassadorial nominees sent by President Muhammadu Buhari last month. The rejection came barely 24 hours after All Progressives Congress (APC) governors expressed displeasure with Buhari for not consulting with them over the list.

The Senate has returned the list to Buhari to rework and re-present it for approval.

On Monday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, acting on behalf of President Buhari, met with six APC governors, the Senate President, Bukola Saraki and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Yakubu Dogara, as well as Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr. Babachir David Lawal. The governors protested lack of consultation by the Presidency before the names were forwarded to the Senate.

During the meeting, Osinbajo had promised that every critical stakeholder of the ruling party will be carried along in future appointments, especially the soon-to-be made board appointments.

The Senate returned the non-career ambassadorial nominees to Buhari, sequel to the report presented to the chamber by its Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu.

After presenting the report, Sunmonu told lawmakers that the committee received over 250 petitions from the public protesting the lopsided composition of the non-career ambassadorial list.

She said even though the committee received many petitions against the career nominees, the complaints received against the 46 non-career ambassadorial nominees were more overwhelming.

Accordingly, she advised the Senate to return the list to the President to enable him prepare a new one that would be acceptable to Nigerians.

Heeding this advice, Senate Leader Ali Ndume moved a motion and seconded by the Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, urging the Upper Chamber to return the list to the President. 


Saraki put the motion to voice vote, it was overwhelmingly supported by the lawmakers, who 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 Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly and a chieftain of APC, Dr. Olorunimbe Mamora. A former deputy governor of Plateau State, PauIine Tallen, had earlier rejected her nomination, citing family demands.

Others which Mrs Uzoma E. Emenike (Abia), Dr. Clifford Zirra (Adamawa), Maj. Gen. Godwin G. Umo (retd) (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.

On the 47 career ambassadorial nominees earlier screened by the committee, the Senate confirmed all of them, after initial opposition by Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who insisted that the nominees who failed to recite the National Anthem, should be dropped.

He expressed concern that people entrusted to represent the country abroad could not recite the national anthem, despite rising from the ranks to the present cadre, where they were considered to protect and preserve Nigeria’s image in the international community.

However, Chairman of the Committee and other members including Senators James Manager, Bala Na’Allah and Gbenga Ashafa, said the screening was conducted without political coloration, urging the Senate to confirm all of them.

Manager said 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 stop their appointments.

Those 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).

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