OrderPaperToday – The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan on Wednesday drummed support for the nomination of non-career ambassador from the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
This followed a point of order raised by Sen. Philip Aduda (PDP, Abuja), who lamented that his constituency has been constantly ignored in previous nominations for ambassadorial appointments.
Aduda who has been at the forefront of the struggle for the inclusion of the area for ministerial appointments said the omission of the territory points to a defect in the federal character principle.
It must be noted that the National Assembly serves as the state legislative arm for the territory and the President also serves as the Governor with minister superintending over its affairs on behalf of the President.
Making a passionate protest, 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.
“But when the first list came, the FCT was omitted. The second list came, the FCT was omitted; and then we have another opportunity 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 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 have a non-career ambassador.”
Before ruling on the point of order, Lawan said he believes Abuja will be considered in the next list.
“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,” he said