By Ignatius Okorocha
There was a mild drama yesterday during the screening of ambassadorial nominees by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs as some senators scolded one of the nominees over his role in the conduct of the 2019 primaries of the All Progressives Congress, APC in the country.
The committee, chaired by Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa ) APC Bauchi North) had commenced the screening exercise for the 41 non-career and one career ambassadorial nominees across the various states of the federation when the drama played out.
The nominee, representing Edo State, Barrister Yamah Mohammed Musa ran into trouble waters with the committee members when asked by the chairman to explain his contribution to APC in Edo State.
Musa, who hails from Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State, stirred the hornet nest when in his response, he told the committee members that not only did he ensured total victory for candidates of APC in the area during the 2019 general elections but did justice to national assignments given him at the time by the party national leadership.
He said: “I was in the fore front of party members who conducted primary elections for all our House of Representatives candidates in the South West, one of whom is the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
“I also head the committee that conducted the APC primaries in Akwa Ibom aside other national assignment which contributed to the success of the party at the polls.”
Angered by the submission, a member of the committee, Senator Ibikunle Amosun (APC Ogun Central), immediately took the nominee up by telling him that what he described as achievement was a sham.
“I am from the South West and I know all what took place during the so-called primaries perpetrated by your committee and those who assigned you then.
“Please such exercise is not something you should be referring to as achievement, because as party members, we knew what happened then and those behind it.
“We don’t want you to carry this type of mindset to foreign post if eventually confirmed, so the earlier you erased such unbecoming assignments as personal achievements, the better,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, another member of the committee, Senator Rochas Okorocha (APC Imo West), shouted on the nominee to sit properly and warned him not to make such submissions anywhere again as achievements.
“You are here to be screened and possibly confirmed as an ambassador to represent Nigeria anywhere you are later posted by the President and reminding us of worst primary elections ever conducted by a political party in Nigeria under a man that had been sent away now.
“Hope you are not being rewarded for the sham you called primaries and injustice done against loyal party members. Don’t ever mention that again or remind people of such stage-managed assignments be it in Nigeria or wherever you are posted to, or else, I will move against your nomination,” he threatened.
Chairman of the committee, Senator Bulkachuwa, however, came to the rescue of the nominee who was already sweating by appealing to the committee members to allow him take a bow and go.
The nominee, who hurriedly left the venue of the screening exercise (Room 211) when told to take a bow and go, felt discomforted with the development by asking journalists way out of the National Assembly complex as against joining his other colleagues lodged in Senator Bulkachuwa’s office.
Aside the embattled Edo nominee, the committee also carried out the screening exercise on Ademola Seriki from Lagos, Engr. Umar Suleiman from Adamawa, Major Gen. C.O Ugwu from Enugu, Mr. Kelvin Peter Adamu from Adamawa etc.
The screening exercise continues today at the Senate Wing of the National Assembly.