Nominate FCT indigene as ambassador – Lawan to Buhari

NEWSMAN, Abuja – President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday urged President Muhammadu Buhari to nominate an indigene of the Federal Capital Territory as a non-career ambassador.

Lawan made the appeal on Wednesday during plenary following a protest on the floor by Senator representing FCT, Philip Aduda, over the continuous exclusion of indigenes of the Territory for appointment as non-career diplomats by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Rising under Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules, Senator Aduda said, “Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, I did yesterday raise some issues with you, Your Excellency, about the issue of the appointment of ambassadors.

“When the first list came, the FCT was omitted. The second list came, the FCT was omitted; and then we have another opportunity where the FCT is supposed to be represented but it has still being omitted.

“Your Excellency, this gives us worry in the FCT, because it is showing that maybe it is Federal Character, or or something is wrong somewhere.

“Mr. President, we know that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has the power to hire and fire, but Mr. President, we urge you as our leader and Speaker of the people of the FCT, and indeed, the President, who incidentally by the Constitution – Section 299 – happens to be the Governor of the FCT, that in making nominations, he should look at us and please grant us our heart desire which is to have a non-career ambassador for the FCT.

“Indeed, the opportunity has come again, when some ambassadorial nominees have been submitted, and the Committee will be doing its work very soon.

“We want to crave the indulgence of this Senate, and it is a constitutional matter. Mr. President, my Distinguished Colleagues, here I come again today with the hope that we will get support from our State House of Assembly, which is the National Assembly, and indeed the Senate with you as Chairman, to intervene in this matter and ensure that the people of the FCT have a non-career ambassador,” Aduda said.

Lawan in his response appealed to Buhari to send in a nomination for the FCT in the fifth non-career ambassadorial list to be forwarded to the National Assembly for screening and confirmation.

 “As speaker of the FCT House of Assembly and as members of the FCT House of Assembly, we are appealing to the Executive to send the nomination of a non-career ambassadorial nominee for the FCT in the fifth and final phase”, Lawan said.

Last year, Senator Aduda, had protested when president Buhari replaced two non-career ambassadorial nominees, Oboro Effiong Akpabio with John J. Usanga, while Air Commodore Peter Anda Bakiya Gana (rtd) gave way for Brigadier General Bwala Yusuf Bukar as candidates of Akwa Ibom and Niger states.

Aduda proptested the exclusion of an Abuja indigene from the lot. He claimed that Ambassador Hafiz Obada, a local, who currently serves in Sierra Leone, was not re-appointed.

 “For the ambassadorial nomination for the non-career, nothing has been said about the one for FCT. It has been silent, and we have an ambassador who is already sitting in Sierra Leone, his name is Ambassador Hafiz Obada. We do not know what becomes of his fate, because other states have been told to remain in their stations or they have been re-appointed.

“My issue is that, is it at this time the FCT will now lose an ambassador? It is worrisome to me and the people of the FCT. Sitting here, names have been called for all other states except FCT,”Aduda had said.

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