The Presidency has said that it is not lobbying senators for confirmation of appointments of former Service Chiefs as ambassadors.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Thursday last week forwarded a 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 Marshal, Abubakar Sadeeq and former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok – Ete Ekwe Ibas.
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The Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Babajide Omoworare, in an interview with journalists on Monday in Abuja, said the Presidency is not losing sleep on the request.
When asked whether the Presidency was lobbying the Red Chamber to get the appointments of the erstwhile service chiefs confirmed, Omoworare said he was not aware of such move but said that lobbying in governance between the executive and the legislature and vice versa was normal and practised in all democracies.
He 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.
He said having served the country as heads of military agencies did not mean that they would 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 representatives 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.”
He added 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.
“The President must have done his homework 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,” he added.