By Deji Elumoye
The Senate on Wednesday appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to consider the appointment of an indigene of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as a non-career ambassador.
The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, has therefore called on the president to forward the nomination of an indigene from the FCT as a non-career ambassador to the upper chamber for screening and confirmation.
Lawan made the appeal during plenary following a protest on the floor by FCT Senator, Philip Aduda, over the continuous exclusion of a nominee from the FCT in previous nominations forwarded by President Buhari.
Rising under Order 43 of the Senate Standing Rules, Aduda said: “Mr. President, Distinguished Colleagues, I did yesterday raise some issues with you, Your Excellency, about the issue of the appointment of ambassadors.
“Your Excellency, I’ve consistently mentioned that before now we used to have a non-career ambassador for the FCT.
“But 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 been omitted.
“Your Excellency, this gives us worry in the FCT, because it is showing that maybe it is Federal Character, 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’s 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.”
Responding, the Senate President appealed to President Buhari to send in a nomination for the FCT in the fifth non-career ambassadors list to be forwarded to the National Assembly for screening and confirmation.
Lawan said: “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.”