FOREIGN

Anxiety As Tinubu Sets To Release Ambassadorial Nominees List

 

There is anxiety among the chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as President Bola Tinubu is set to release the list of ambassadorial nominees and be forwarded to the National Assembly for Senate approval.

It gathered that the list forwarded to the President by the Foreign Affairs Ministry had undergone series of vet and a consolidated list would soon be released by the Presidency.

According to a report by THE PUNCH, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, said the names have been collated and forwarded to the President for consideration since.

“We have collated everything on our part and forwarded it to Mr. President”, said Tuggar.

However, the President’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Mr Bayo Onanuga, confirmed that such nominations must pass through a thorough process before a final list is released. He debunked a list making the rounds, describing it as “fake o official list as of today. There is a list in circulation. That is fake news. The foreign affairs list will still go through certain processes before it is released.

“Don’t forget that the ambassadorial list has two components. There are career ambassadors and political ambassadors. So, whichever one they submitted, it will still go through a long process.”

In November 2023, a senior official in the ministry said “Names of new ambassadors are being compiled.”

Although it was not clear if the nominees were political or career diplomats, feelers indicate that they primarily comprise the latter.

It is believed that while career diplomats are determined by their career progression, as recommended by the foreign service, political diplomats are often appointees of the President.

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Some of those considered for the ambassadorial jobs are the Founder of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc. Mr. Afolabi Adeola, a Senior Special Assistant to the President, a former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Olufemi Pedro, and the Speaker, Katsina House of Assembly, Tasiu Maigari,

It was gathered that Tinubu was keen on deploying technocrats and captains of industry as its front persons in foreign lands.

“The President is reserving many of the slots for technocrats, people who have built a strong reputation in their respective fields and have built companies employing thousands of Nigerians. We need people who can use their influence to secure deals and partnerships for the benefit of their country.

“It is not a new thing. When choosing envoys, the most developed economies send their best hands for those jobs. And Tinubu is following that path.

“For example, Adeola is an investor and is not a strange face on the foreign scene and the global business community. He knows them and they know him. And he is not the only one. You can see that this speaks of the administration’s pursuit of more Foreign Direct Investment,” said the Source.

Nigeria has 109 missions, 76 embassies, 22 high commissions and 11 consulates globally.

On September 2, 2023, President Bola Tinubu recalled all career and non-career ambassadors operating the country’s diplomatic missions, embassies and consulates globally.

A statement by Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed the recall of the ambassadors, saying: “Sequel to the inquiries on the letter recalling the Nigerian ambassador to the UK, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has clarified that all career ambassadors and non-career ambassadors have been recalled on the instructions of President Bola Tinubu.”

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The envoys were directed to return to the country on or before October 31.

They include the 41 non-career ambassadors and 42 career ambassadors appointed by Former President Muhammadu Buhari in July 2020.

 

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