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Ambassadorial nominees: Jibril Aminu under fire again

Posted by By ISMAIL OMIPIDAN, Abuja on 2008/01/26 | Views: 572 |

Ambassadorial nominees: Jibril Aminu under fire again


Weeks after Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Jibril Aminu escaped being sanctioned following his committee’s refusal to screen three ambassadorial nominees, he again came under serious fire yesterday from his colleagues.

• Over Marwa, Chikwe, Nwite

Weeks after Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Jibril Aminu escaped being sanctioned following his committee’s refusal to screen three ambassadorial nominees, he again came under serious fire yesterday from his colleagues.

The committee had screened Aminu’s kinsman and former presidential aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Brigadier-Gen. Mohammed Buba Marwa (retd), former aviation minister, Mrs. Kema Chikwe and Senator Polycap Nwite. But while presenting the committee’s report to the senate on Thursday, Aminu said that only Mrs. Chikwe was recommended for confirmation. However, of the 12 members of the committee, only Aminu signed the report.

He had hardly taken his seat when other committee members cried sabotage. Most of them insisted that the report Aminu presented did not reflect their collective decision, with Senator Effiong Bob saying that none of them signed the report.
Another member of the committee, Senator Osita Izunaso said: “I am amazed that despite the fact that all the three nominees were recommended to the Senate for confirmation, the report failed to do that. I am seeing this report for the first time.”

Other members of the committee, who spoke against the report are, Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba, Senators Bode Olajumoke, Kola Bajomo and Zainab Kure, who said: “We didn’t have any crisis in that committee, as we all had a nice time during the screening of the three nominees. We drank tea together and recommended all the four nominees for confirmation.”

Contributing to the debate, Senator Smart Adeyemi, who, though, is not a member of the committee, said: “I feel highly discouraged and depressed about the report. The report negates the tenets of democracy. The report should be thrown out and the chairman removed. It is unfortunate that the report is coming from a senior citizen of this country. It is disheartening when senior citizens decide not to take the path of truth, righteousness and justice.”

Other senators, who joined in condemning the report are Uche Chukwumerije and Ayogu Eze.
Chukwumerije queried why Nigerians cleared a few months ago to contest election have suddenly become unfit to occupy a lesser office, saying that the Senate should follow precedent and muster the courage to deal with the issue frontally.

Responding to Chukwumerije’s challenge, Senate President, David Mark said “talking about precedent, yes, we have treated the report of a committee here before, and we have also sent report back to a committee before. So whichever way you look at it, a precedent has been set. Talking about courage, I think every senator, who spoke here expressed their minds.” He thereafter called on Aminu to respond to some of the issues raised.

Aminu said: “I feel I will control myself. I have been through worse situations with students. A lot of senators here have behaved like students….”
He had hardly concluded the statement when his colleagues shouted him down.
Mark came to Aminu’s rescue when he asked him to withdraw the statement, saying, “at the beginning, you said you will try and control yourself, but you have not controlled yourself by the use of that language.”

Aminu again rose and said: “I will withdraw it in due course. Anybody with security is not usually screened. Based on interests, we were forced to screen them. Nobody will like the security report of his friend to be read in the open. But if you want me to read here, I can go ahead to do that. We have a duty to protect people’s name.”

Responding, Mark said: “We can’t allow only 12 senators to know the details of the security report. We all have to know. We will not run away from that.”
In the end, a soft landing was provided for Aminu when Mark put a question on whether the report be sent back to the committee or not. Once some senators said “Ayes,” he did not put the question for those who would have objected to it before ruling that the report be sent back to the committee, with a mandate to report back next Tuesday.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.