Secretary to the Government of the Federation ( SGF), David Babachir Lawal and the Foreign Affairs Minister, Ambassador Geoffrey Onyeama, said on Tuesday, that some states were omitted from the list of 47 Career Ambassadors forwarded to the Senate because it was the president’s prerogative to name envoys.
The duo told the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs that the nominees were named under the prerogative of the president and their names do not need to cut across the 36 states of the federation as it is the case with ministers.
Speaking while appearing before the members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs which summoned them over noticed lopsidedness in the 47-man list of Ambassadorial nominees, which excluded nominees from Ondo, Bayelsa, Ebonyi and Plateau states, the SGF explained that the list was based on certain criteria.
He said the list showed substantial compliance to the federal character principle.
He said part of the criteria used in the selection of the nominees apart from their respective records of service, was change compatibility value of the nominee in line with the change agenda of the present administration.
According to him, “you must understand the mindset of this government, its a change government. It is important that whoever is going to be on board in this government, who is going to play one role or the other must be somebody that we will like to call change compatible, he must establish his integrity, his qualification on the job and his ability to deliver on the job”
The SGF, alongside the minister, however, assured the committee that the four states omitted in the list, would be compensated in the non-career list which would soon be forwarded to the Senate by the president.
Efforts by the committee members to grill the SGF and the minister further over the controversial list were however not allowed by the chairman, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu (APC Oyo Central), who ordered for closed door session for further deliberations.