All Progressives Congress (APC) governors have taken their protest over ambassadorial appointments to President Muhammadu Buhari.
There have been protests since last week when the names of 46 non-career would-be ambassadors were sent to the Senate for confirmation. Many of the governors complained of not being consulted and knocked the list for being lopsided.
In many of the states, the names sent by the governors were ignored. Besides, ethnic balancing was not considered.
Yesterday’s meeting under the banner of Progressives Governors Forum (PGF) was the platform for the governors to express their mind to the President, who urged them to “put their complaint into writing”
Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong told reporters after the meeting at the Villa that the issue was discussed.
He gave the example of his state where one of the nominees, Mrs Pauline Tallen, rejected her nomination.
He said: “Pauline is an astute politician from my state and part of the issue we also raised was on some of the appointments that were made. So all the states that had complaints are going to put them in writing and the President promised he is going to look into them.
“Well, it’s not only about her husband. I think it is the dimension of Plateau politics because I had already complained to Mr. President that appointments should not be concentrated in one zone. And so all these appointments came again from one zone, in that particular zone.
“So the complaints that are coming from our state are not about our personal interest; it is the fact that two ambassadorial appointments are coming from the same zone. That is also my zone.
“We had complained that the next appointment should go to the other zones – the central and the northern zone – and so when that appointment came, the kind of uproar that followed that appointment also necessitated an intervention.
“And I think, as a mature politician, she stepped down and sacrificed that for the people of Plateau.”
The governor said the state was working on Mrs. Tallen’s replacement.
He said a little consultation before the appointments would have resolved the problems.
Said Lalong: “It is not a big issue, but at times a little consultation would have solved that problem because these are issues in the interest of the state. So you can’t have two appointments, very key appointments like that coming from a particular zone that is already overloaded with appointments. All the federal appointments are rom the southern zone, so it would not be fair.
“So it is the issue of fairness now we are approaching Mr. President to consider fairness and appoint people from those areas have no representation.”
Mrs. Tallen, a former deputy governor, in an interview, said: “I hail from the same local government and tribe with Governor Simon Lalong. I turned down the nomination because of balancing of appointments, I don’t think it is right for me to accept the appointment.”
“Secondly, proper consultation was not done. My governor was not consulted because I called him when he was in the United States to ask but he said he was not aware.
“For me, I was consulted and I turned down the appointment even before the announcement was made,” Mrs. Tallen said.
She also cited her husband’s poor health.
“My husband’s ill-health is another reason why I will not accept the appointment,” she said.