Ambassadorial Nomination: Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Ondo, Plateau Didn’t Meet Criteria For Appointment – Senate Report | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ambassadorial Nomination: Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Ondo, Plateau Didn’t Meet Criteria For Appointment – Senate Report

Posted: Jul 20, 2016 at 7:18 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

*set to screen 47 nominees

Rotimi Akinwumi

Abuja – The Senate on Wednesday  declared that it would proceed with the screening and confirmation of the 47 ambassadorial nominees referred to it by President Muhammadu Buhari last month.

The resolution to proceed with the screening of the ambassadorial nomination followed the adoption of the report of the foreign affairs committee, which investigated allegation of lopsidedness ?in the nomination.

The committee in its report, aligned with the presidency that the career officers of Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Ondo and Plateau origin were not featured in the list because they did not meet the criteria for  the appointment.

The  Senate had last month ?asked the Committee on Foreign Affairs to investigate allegations of  irregularities and breach of the Federal character clause in the constitution by the President in making the nomination.

Presenting the report before the Senate, Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Shehu Sani, informed the Senate that the Secretary to the Government of the Federation Babachir Lawal told the committee that the President breached no rules in the nomination adding that nobody from the four states of Bayelsa, Ondo, Plateau and Ebonyi where petitions had come from met the criteria for selection.

After looking through facts made available to it, the Senate he said, agreed with the executive on the issue.

However, the Senate urged the President to hasten to submit to it the list of non-career ambassadors to balance the nomination and pacify the states so omitted from the career ambassadorial list.

In its report the committee said “Bayelsa from the presentations, the candidate from Bayelsa did not meet with all the laid down criteria for selection.

“Benue the complainant from Benue, a male Foreign Service Officer, with two years two months (26 months) remaining period of service was dropped on gender consideration for the next most senior officer , a female, who has two years five months ( 29 months) remaining period of service.

“Kogi from the records, one of the two senior officers with the same service records, except for the slight difference in the remaining period of service, on the part of the one not selected (who is leaving 15 days earlier) before retirement, was dropped in favour of the one selected for nomination.

“Ondo , none of the three senior officers from the state satisfied all the criteria for selection.

“Osun.  the officer nominated complied with the set down criteria for selection, while the most senior officer with only 12 months remaining period of service before retirement, was dropped for lack of adequate period of service.

“Plateau, none of the officers satisfied all the criteria for selection.

“Taraba -the officer selected for nomination has satisfied the set down criteria for nomination and she is the most senior officer from the state”

In its finding, the committee said “That the forty-seven (47) Career Ambassadorial nominees were carefully selected on the basis of Federal Character, seniority, gender consideration, Specialist Relevance, a Minimum of 30 Months period of Service before Retirement and competence, except for a few that have between 18 to 29 months remaining period of service.

“Officers from Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Ondo, Plateau and other states not featured on the list, did not meet the criteria approved for selection.

“That the Executive is working on the list of non-career ambassadorial nominees, which will make up for the states that were not represented in the current list. The list will accordingly balance the perceived lopsidedness.

“The minister and SGF expressed strong will that‘Mr. President will ensure that each state of the federation is represented in line with the principles of federal character.

“That the complexities in the selection of the non-Career Ambassadors whose records are not readily available for scrutiny contributed to the submission of only the list of Career Ambassadorial nominees to the Senate , instead of a combined list”.

The committee therefore recommended that “the Senate should proceed with the screening and confirmation hearing of the 47 Ambassadorial nominees with dispatch, ahead of the submission of the second list of non-Career Ambassadorial nominees.

“The President should be advised to expedite action on the submission of the list of the non-career nominees, which is expected to balance the perceived lop-sidedness in the nomination of the ambassadors. More so, in future nominations, the executive arm should be guided to see the logic of sustaining the previous practice of presenting to the Senate, a combined list of both career and non-career nominees for confirmation”.