– Lawal said the issue raised by the Senate is minor
– The SGF metioned that President Muhammadu Buhari followed due process in drawing up the list
– The list of the ambassadorial nominees was sent to the Senate on Thursday, June 9
The secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), Babachir Lawal, says four states Plateau, Ebonyi, Ondo and Bayelsa do not have ambassadorial nominees, The Cable reports.
The four states without nominees have no career diplomats in the foreign service who met the objective, the SGF said.
Speaking at an interactive session with journalists at the weekend, Lawal explained that there were criteria set by the government to pick the nominees, adding that President Muhammadu Buhari followed due process in drawing up a list of ambassadorial nominees, contrary to the fears of the senate.
Lawal said the issues raised by the senate were minor, which could have been settled over the phone.
The SGF also said he would honour the invitation of the senate on July 11, the date set aside by the senate committee on foreign affairs to “interrogate” him and Geoffrey Onyeama, the foreign affairs minister.
“Out of 36 states and the federal capital territory, while the constitution preaches federal character, it does not say that every state must be represented in any appointment, except of course in the case of ministers.
Not in all other appointments, so the spirit of the constitution has been fully satisfied by having 32 ambassadors out of 36 plus one (FCT). I believe that every objective analyst will agree with this,” he said.
Lawal also expressed regrets that four states didn’t make it in one way or the other, but maintained that it was “not necessarily on the criteria of seniority”.
The Senate last Wednesday, suspended the screening of 47 ambassadorial nominees whose names President Buhari sent for confirmation on June 9.
The upper chamber cited irregularities in the process of selecting them, and summoned the SGF and Onyeama to explain the reason for the alleged irregularities.