Olayemi Esan, Abuja
The Senate on Tuesday confirmed former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; former Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin; former Chief of Air Staff, Ibok Ibas; and former Chief of Naval Staff, Abubakar Sadique as non-career ambassadors.
President Buhari had on February 5 sent their names to the senate to be confirmed as non-career ambassadors.
While the speedy confirmation of the former service chiefs have been described as commendable, there is anger in the Buhari’s camp of All Progressives Congress (APC) due to what they described as continued avoidance of a list of National Commissioners-designate of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), which President Muhammadu Buhari sent at the tail end of last year.
The list has, among others, the name of Social and Digital Media Aide to the President, Lauretta Onochie, who was rejected by PDP senators in a circumstance SpyeTV found out was allegedly orchestrated by APC Senators from her state of the Delta including Senator Ovie Omo-Agege and Senator Peter Nwaoboshi.
The two senators, it was gathered, had vowed to frustrate Onochie’s nomination because she was doing her Presidential spokesmanship with full loyalty to the patriotic President, institution of the Office of the President and Nigeria.
Onochie’s role giving volume to the Forensic Audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) ordered by her boss, President Buhari, did not go down well with the alleged senators.
They were, therefore, said to have boasted that over their dead body the Presidential Aide would ever pass through screening and confirmation at their Senate, although the Senate does not belong to them but Nigeria and Nigerians and has its process by the constitution.
The SpyeTV that reported Senator Kabir Gaya, recently, saying the Senate did not step down the nominations’ list including Lauretta Onochie’s name but that it had not been passed to ethics committee of which he is chairman, for screening and for onward confirmation at plenary.
But Nigerians, who have waited for too long to see the process begin, are charged that many requests for confirmation by the President have been acted upon and nominees confirmed whereas, the Lauretta Onochie’s list sent long earlier continues to be kept in the cold by the Senate.
“We know that those who are trying to block Lauretta Onochie and co from being confirmed INEC National Commissioners are not PDP as we are made to believe. No. They are APC Senators and those Delta State senators must swear by dangerous weapons that they do not have hands in the delay,” an apparently very angry Buhari told SpyeTV in Lagos while reacting to ex-service chiefs confirmation as non-career Ambassadors on Tuesday.