* Says it is not loosing sleep on the request.
By Henry Umoru
AHEAD of the screening and subsequent confirmation of immediate past Service Chiefs whose names have been forwarded to the Senate by President Muhammadu Buhari, the Presidency said yesterday that it was not lobbying the Upper Chamber to confirm them.
The Presidency declared Monday that it is not lobbying Senators for the Confirmation of appointments of the former Service Chiefs who will be facing the Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa, All Progressives Congress, APC, Bauchi North led Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs for screening.
Recall that President Buhari had on Thursday last week , through a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media , Femi Adesina , forwarded request for Confirmation to the Senate , Ambassadorial nominations of former Chief of Defence Staff , General Gabriel Olonisakin , former Chief of Army Staff , Lt- Gen Yusuf Tukur Buratai , former Chief of Air Staff , Air Vice Marshall , Abubakar Sadeeq and former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok – Ete Ekwe Ibas .
The President in the letter of request , said: “In accordance with section 171 (1), (2) (c) & sub-section (4) of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the under-listed five (5) names of nominees as Non-Career Ambassadors-Designate.”
Also recall that the request caused some disagreements in the polity last week when the Senate Minority Leader , Enyinnaya Abaribe, Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Abia South and some political commentators , decried the nominations by describing them as reward for failure or non performance.
Answering questions from Journalists yesterday in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters ( Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare said that the Presidency is not loosing sleep on the request.
When asked whether lobbying is being used by the Presidency to get the appointments of the erstwhile service chiefs confirmed in the Senate , Omoworare said he was not aware of such move .
Omoworare who noted that lobbying in governance between the executive and the legislature and vice versa, is normal and practised in all democracies, said ” I think if anybody says there is any lobbying going on as regards nominations of former service chiefs for Ambassadorial appointments by Mr President, I am not aware.
“But if there is lobbying going on for them to pass through the Confirmation process , I sincerely think it is in order, it is not an aberration, it’s not a transgression, it’s not a sin for lobbying to occur.
“Having been service chiefs before should they be nominated as ambassadors especially because they Senate and House of representatives have not been on the same page with them, it is normal.
” That does not mean they can not be successful ambassadors. It is for the senators to determine whether looking at their profiles, their curriculum Vitae and their credentials they can be good rearsentatives of Nigeria.
“For them to even be service chiefs it means they have attained some heights because being service chief is being at the pinnacle of their career which is an achievement.”
The Senate liaison Officer who noted that as cordial as relationship between the 9th Senate and the Presidency is some requests for Confirmation have been rejected without causing any ill feeling between them, adding, ” The President must have done his home work very well on nominations of the former service chiefs for the Ambassadorial positions , which gives somebody like me the confidence that the appropriate committee of the Senate will confirm them at the end of the day.”
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