… As Buhari replaces two non-career ambassadors-designate
BY VICTOR BUORO, ABUJA – President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, on Wednesday declared that it is constitutional for an indigene of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to be appointed as a non-career Ambassador by the President.
Lawan, who stated this while responding to Senator Philip Aduda representing the FCT, who came under Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules, and protested the exclusion of a non-career Ambassador from the FCT, said he sympathized with the FCT on the issue.
This was sequel to the request from President Muhammadu Buhari for the replacement and confirmation of two non-career Ambassadors-designate.
The President sought to replace the earlier nomination of Mr. Oboro Effiong Akpabio and Brigadier General Bwala Yusuf Bukar from Akwa-Ibom and Borno State, respectively.
The request was contained in a letter read at plenary by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
The Senate President said; “I know there were 12 non-career Ambassadors who were retained. I don’t know if you have an FCT indigene among those 12. Probably you should check that to see if you would see any FCT indigene, but your complaint is very valid.
“What I’m going to advice is maybe we need to take more political action, so that it doesn’t always come like it is an after-thought.
“The FCT is to be treated like a state, that’s what the Constitution states, so you deserve one like any other state deserves”, Lawan said.
Senator Aduda protested saying; “The only FCT indigene presently serving as a non-career Ambassador in Sierra Leone, Hafiz Obada, 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 don’t 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 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 and we have one.
“So, Mr. President, I hope something can be done to this to help the people of the FCT. We don’t get Ministerial nomination, we don’t get so many of these things, but the small ones that we have is about to be taken away which should not be so,” Aduda said.
President Buhari’s letter reads: “In accordance to Section 171(1)(2)(c) and subsection (4) of the 1999 Constitution as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of Mr. John J. Usanga and Air Commodore Peter Anda Bakiya Gana (rtd) from Akwa-Ibom and Niger State respectively, as non-career Ambassadors-designate.
“The Senate is kindly requested to recall my earlier submission of Mr. Oboro Effiong Akpabio and Brigadier General Bwala Yusuf Bukar from Akwa-Ibom and Borno State respectively, vide letter dated 17th June 2020, I substitute Mr. Oboro Effiong Akpabio with Mr. John J. Usanga (Akwa-Ibom State). I replace Brigadier General Bwala Yusuf Bukar (Borno State) with Air Commodore Peter Anda Bakiya Gana (Niger State).”