The Authority - President Muhammadu Buhari has dumped the political class in the list of ambassador-designates he sent to the Senate on Thursday for confirmation.
In the all-career Foreign Service officers’ list, 11 women were in the 47 names the President plans to appoint as Ambassadors or High Commissioners, depending on the countries of their assignment.
This is the first time in recent years that any Nigerian leader will appoint only career diplomats as the country’s envoys.
Buhari’s action may not go down well with politicians, especially from the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who have been lobbying for ambassadorial positions.
The move will however open up the space in the foreign service for the elevation of other officers to the positions being vacated by the nominees.
Last night, Foreign Service analysts described the President’s action as a major compensation for the diplomats and a big boost for the Service.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, who disclosed the President’s list on Thursday, said Buhari wants the Upper House to clear the nominees promptly.
Buhari had on July 9, 2015 recalled Nigerian ambassadors on the Foreign Missions and since then the nation’s embassies have been operating without Ambassadors or High Commissioners.
Saraki, who read the letter dated June 6, 2016, explained that President Buhari had requested the Senate to approve the list of the nominees at the shortest possible time.
The letter read in part: “In accordance with Section 171(1) (C) sub-section 4 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), I have the honour to forward the attached list of 47 career foreign service officers as ambassadors-designate for consideration and confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Copies of their curriculum vitae are attached: It is my hope that this would receive the usual prompt attention of the distinguished members of the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The nominees are: Obinna Chukwuemeka Agbugba, Salisu Umaru, Inyang Udoh-Inyang, Okeke Vivian Nwunaku, Liman Munir, Ndem Jane Ada, Mohammed Hassan Hassan, Martin Nyong Cobham, Janet Omoleegho Olisa, Itegboje Sunday, Olatunde Adesesan and Lilian Ijeukwu Onoh.
Others are: Manaja Tulah Isa, Ngozi Ukaeje, Bello Kazaure Husseini, Enoch Pear Duchies Garba Baba, Usman Bakori Aliyu, Umar Zainable Salisu, Momoh Sheidu Omeiza, Kadiri Ayinla Audu, Balogun Hakeem, Inusa Ahmed, Ibrahim Isa, Bankole Adegboyega Adeoye and Ibidapo Obe Oluwasegun.
Other nominees are Ogundaro Sakirat, Eric Bell-Gam, Attahiru Haliru, Rahmatu A. Dunama, Musa Saban Mamman, Kabiru Bala, Adamu Onoze Shuaibu, D. A. Agev, T.K. Gongulong, Ibrahim Hamza, K.C. Nwachukwu and Q.I. Worlu.
The list also had E.K. Oguntuase, I. A. Paragalada, L.A. Gashagar, Olufemi Abikoye, Habu Abubakar Gwani Ibrahim, Rabiu Akawu, Odeka Janet Bisong and Sonaike Odekunbi Abibat.
According to the letter, the list is made up of only career civil servants in the Foreign Service.