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President Muhammadu Buhari has incurred the wrath of leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the choice of nominees for non-career ambassadors. Most of the 23 APC governors are angry because their candidates for the ambassadorial posts were rejected by the Presidency.

It was learnt that Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo was given only one out of the 46 ambassadorial slots submitted to the Senate for confirmation last week.Governors, APC leaders and ministers, who are party leaders in many states, especially where the governing party is not in control, were sidelined in the appointments. Senate President, Bukola Saraki, was this time lucky as the president conceded one of the two ambassadorial nominees – Prof. Mohammed G. Yisa – from Kwara State, to him.

New Telegraph learnt that the Chief of Staff to the president, Mallam Abba Kyari and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, played prominent role in the selection process. Even the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, was said to have no input in the list of the nominees.

A source said that Onyeama cannot complain because the president’s chief of staff facilitated his appointment as minister. Kyari and Onyeama are friends and classmates at Cambridge. Onyeama was Kyari’s best man at his wedding. One of the APC governors lamented that the president failed to carry party leaders along in his appointment.

“The appointment of the ambassadors is a continuation of the policy to sideline the governors. When the minister from my state was picked, I was not consulted.And when it is time for the ambassadorial appointment, they did not consider my nominee. This is a party we all worked to build.

I have spoken to quite a number of my colleague governors, it is the same thing. “To us, we believe the president has his own game plan. I’m sure he is building a separate structure for himself. When you sideline governors and party leaders in appointments, then it means you are up to something.

I can tell you conveniently that most of the party leaders, especially governors, are not happy with the president over his choice of appointment,” a governor told New Telegraph at the weekend. 

A cross section of party leaders told New Telegraph at the weekend that the president is treating them like outcasts in the party when it comes to appointments.

A member of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) told this newspaper that he was shocked with the list of ambassadorial nominees. “Initially I thought my governor nominated the representative from my state. But I was shocked when the governor called me to inquire if I did the nomination.

I told him I knew nothing about the ambassadorial nominee. He was shocked. The governor told me that his nominee too was rejected. So, this is the situation we have found ourselves,” the NWC member told New Telegraph last night. Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State confirmed the frustration of APC members over the appointment made so far by the president.

“Most members of the party feel that they have not been carried along. I know that many of them are complaining every day,” Okorocha stated in an interview with journalists last week Sunday. The ambassadorial appointment is next to that of ministers in order of importance. Buhari, last week, sent 46 names to the Senate for confirmation as ambassadors.

The president had set three criteria to be met before getting the ambassadorial appointment, especially that the nominees must be people who have sacrificed for the APC: those who contested and lost in the 2015 elections; people who lost in party primaries, but didn’t leave the party and worked for the party; and leading members of the governing party.

New Telegraph learnt that most of the state governors and party leaders had no input as to who represent their respective states on the foreign mission. The source added that in instances where governors and party leaders were asked to submit nominees, their lists were not considered.

A governor who is very close to the president was so angry immediately the list was made public such that he had to meet the president in Abuja, where he reportedly told him that APC is losing its goodwill. “One of the governors, a close confidant of the president, had to rush to Abuja at the weekend to meet the president immediately the list was made public.

The governor told the president that the party stakeholders are not happy with the list of nominees for non-career ambassadors. The two-term governor said APC is losing goodwill with the decision of the president to sideline governors and party leaders in his appointments. “At a point, the governor asked the president: who are his foot soldiers?

The question became necessary when those who are in control of party structures are not considered in appointments,” a source told New Telegraph. A former minister of defence, who supported the president’s election, was also disappointed that his nominee for one of the North-East states was rejected.

One of the North-West governors told this newspaper that he had no input in the two nominees from his state. “Well, I know one of the nominees, but the second nominee is unknown to the state. We know that the two nominees from my state are candidates of the Presidency. So, we are not bothered.

It is very unfortunate that a party that we laboured to build is treating its leaders like this. We are watching. It is the same story across the party,” the governor said. Impeccable sources told New Telegraph that the leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) over the choice of nominees for non-career ambassadors.

Most of the 23 APC governors are angry because their candidates for the ambassadorial posts were rejected by the Presidency. It was learnt that Vice- President Yemi Osinbajo was given only one out of the 46 ambassadorial slots submitted to the Senate for confirmation last week. Governors, APC leaders and ministers, who are party leaders in many states, especially where the governing party is not in control, were sidelined in the appointments.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, was this time lucky as the president conceded one of the two ambassadorial nominees – Prof. Mohammed G. Yisa – from Kwara State, to him. New Telegraph learnt that the Chief of Staff to the president, Mallam Abba Kyari and former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, played prominent role in the selection process. Even the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, was said to have no input in the list of the nominees.

A source said that Onyeama cannot complain because the president’s chief of staff facilitated his appointment as minister. Kyari and Onyeama are friends and classmates at Cambridge. Onyeama was Kyari’s best man at his wedding. One of the APC governors lamented that the president failed to carry party leaders along in his appointment.

“The appointment of the ambassadors is a continuation of the policy to sideline the governors. When the minister from my state was picked, I was not consulted. And when it is time for the ambassadorial appointment, they did not consider my nominee. This is a party we all worked to build.

I have spoken to quite a number of my colleague governors, it is the same thing. “To us, we believe the president has his own game plan. I’m sure he is building a separate structure for himself. When you sideline governors and party leaders in appointments, then it means you are up to something.

I can tell you conveniently that most of the party leaders, especially governors, are not happy with the president over his choice of appointment,” a governor told New Telegraph at the weekend. A cross section of party leaders told New Telegraph at the weekend that the president is treating them like outcasts in the party when it comes to appointments.

A member of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) told this newspaper that he was shocked with the list of ambassadorial nominees. “Initially I thought my governor nominated the representative from my state. But I was shocked when the governor called me to inquire if I did the nomination. I told him I knew nothing about the ambassadorial nominee.

He was shocked. The governor told me that his nominee too was rejected. So, this is the situation we have found ourselves,” the NWC member told New Telegraph last night. Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State confirmed the frustration of APC members over the appointment made so far by the president. “Most members of the party feel that they have not been carried along. I know that many of them are complaining every day,” Okorocha stated in an interview with journalists last week Sunday.

The ambassadorial appointment is next to that of ministers in order of importance. Buhari, last week, sent 46 names to the Senate for confirmation as ambassadors. The president had set three criteria to be met before getting the ambassadorial appointment, especially that the nominees must be people who have sacrificed for the APC: those who contested and lost in the 2015 elections; people who lost in party primaries, but didn’t leave the party and worked for the party; and leading members of the governing party.

New Telegraph learnt that most of the state governors and party leaders had no input as to who represent their respective states on the foreign mission. The source added that in instances where governors and party leaders were asked to submit nominees, their lists were not considered.

A governor who is very close to the president was so angry immediately the list was made public such that he had to meet the president in Abuja, where he reportedly told him that APC is losing its goodwill. “One of the governors, a close confidant of the president, had to rush to Abuja at the weekend to meet the president immediately the list was made public. The governor told the president that the party stakeholders are not happy with the list of nominees for non-career ambassadors.

The two-term governor said APC is losing goodwill with the decision of the president to sideline governors and party leaders in his appointments. “At a point, the governor asked the president: who are his foot soldiers? The question became necessary when those who are in control of party structures are not considered in appointments,” a source told New Telegraph.

A former minister of defence, who supported the president’s election, was also disappointed that his nominee for one of the North-East states was rejected. One of the North-West governors told this newspaper that he had no input in the two nominees from his state.

“Well, I know one of the nominees, but the second nominee is unknown to the state. We know that the two nominees from my state are candidates of the Presidency. So, we are not bothered. It is very unfortunate that a party that we laboured to build is treating its leaders like this. We are watching. It is the same story across the party,” the governor said.

Impeccable sources told New Telegraph that thefour APC governors in the South-West failed to have their nominees on the list. All of them submitted lists of nominees as required by the Presidency, but their candidates were rejected by the president. For instance, in Ogun, Governor Ibikunle Amosun could not secure a slot on the ambassadorial list as Vice-President Osinbajo was given the slot.

The vice president nominated his friend and classmate at Igbobi College, Lagos, Ade Asekun. In Oyo, Governor Abiola Ajimobi failed to have his nominee on the ambassadorial list.

Maj.-Gen. Ashimiyu A. Olaniyi (rtd) was picked instead of his nominee. Unlike Amosun who was able to nominate the minister from his state, Ajimobi lost out both in ministerial and ambassadorial appointments. It was the same situation in Osun State, as Governor Rauf Aregbesola’s nominee, Senator Mudasiru Hussein, did not make the list.

Instead, Adegboyega A. Ogunwusi, an elder brother to Ooni of Ife, was nominated. Governor Adams Oshiomhole’s bid to have Prof. Julius Ihonvbere as Edo State nominee could not fly as the president opted for Uyagwe Igbe. In Lagos, the president nominated two of the three nominees from the state.

New Telegraph learnt that the president personally requested for former Supreme Court justice, Justice George Adesola Oguntade and Senator Olorunnibe Mamora. Mamora was the Deputy Director General of the APC Presidential Campaign Council and his appointment was long overdue.

On the choice of Justice Oguntade, Buhari nominated him because of his forthrightness, especially based on the minority judgement he gave in his (president’s) favour in 2008. When Buhari challenged the result of the 2007 presidential election up to the Supreme Court, the apex court upheld the election of Umaru Yar’Adua by 6-1. Justice Oguntade gave the minority judgement in favour of Buhari. Oguntade’s name was also on the list submitted by APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. Mrs. Modupe Irele is also one of Tinubu’s nominees.

In Ekiti, APC members are angry over the choice of Ayodele I. Ayodeji. The nominee retired last year after 35 years in the Foreign Service. He is the immediate past Ambassador to Greece. APC members in the state are angry that the likes of former Governor Adeniyi Adebayo and Senator Olu Adetunbi were rejected in preference for Ayodeji.

“We worked for APC and it is very unfortunate that someone that is unknown to us is the ambassadorial nominee. So, what is the benefit of working for the party? Is it that people like Otunba Niyi Adebayo, Prof. Modupe Adelabu and Senator Olu Adetunbi are not qualified enough to represent the state? This is very unfortunate. The party members in Ekiti State are really disappointed,” one of the party leaders in the state told New Telegraph.

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