Ex-Deputy Governor, another political heavyweight reject nomination as ambassadors •Disquiet over Buhari’s list
Posted by News Express | 24 October 2016 | 2,774 times
There are discordant tunes within the ranks of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) over the list of non-career ambassadors sent to the National Assembly on Thursday. While some stakeholders lament “smuggling” of outsiders to pick the plump jobs, some of those who made the list are said to be unexcited over political implications of such postings.
Politicians in many states such as Borno, Kaduna, Kano, Abia, Gombe, Katsina and Kwara, among others, were said to be piqued by the names submitted as representatives of their states, as against personalities who had helped the party to power during the 2015 elections.
However, some active politicians who have been expectant of political appointments were said to be disappointed for being included in the ambassadorial list as they see that as inimical to their political aspirations.
Two of the named ambassadors-designate, Dr. Usman Bugaje (Katsina) and Mrs. Pauline Tallen (Plateau), have so far declined the appointments, as some active politicians on the list are said to be likely to opt out of the job.
While Mrs. Tallen made public her intention to refuse the post, another nominee, Dr. Bugaje, was said to be prevailed upon by top government officials from addressing a press conference to decline the post, hours after the announcement on Thursday.
Tallen cited her ailing husband as the reason for her inability to take up the job, saying nursing her spouse was more important than going for the posting. The former deputy governor described her decision to decline the position as a difficult one.
A source, however, last night informed Blueprint that the Plateau State politician’s decision to decline the offer may not be unconnected with the recent altercation between President Muhammadu Buhari’s wife, Hajiya Aisa Buhari, and some people around the president.
Mrs. Tallen is a close associate of Mrs. Buhari, often representing the latter at public functions.
“You know the First Lady had wanted her as the minister from Plateau Sate but those around the president dropped her name in favour of Solomon Dalung. You should also know that she is a politician with ambition; once she is out of the country it means she’s out of the equation.
“But it is not only Mrs. Tallen that is faced with such difficult career choice. There are also other politicians, like the man from Bauchi. They are really afraid of losing their steam politically,” the source explained.
As for Bugaje, who was said to have learnt about his nomination only after the announcement, he had invited some pressmen to announce his declining of the offer when his associates in the government hinted his two friends, who stormed the office to avert the press briefing.
The former national secretary of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) was said to be incensed by lack of consultation prior to the appointment.
When the press conference was halted, Bugaje then put a call through the Chief of Staff to the President, Malam Abba Kyari, to give the Villa the piece of his mind and announce his refusal.
Efforts to reach Bugaje yesterday proved abortive as he did not answer repeated calls from our correspondent. He also did not reply a text message sent to him as at the time of going to press.
This is not the first time appointees of President Muhammadu Buhari are declining his call to service.
In February, a staunch supporter of the president, Hajiya Najatu Mohammed, declined her appointment as the chair of the Governing Council of the Federal University, Dutse, because she was not consulted before the appointment.
One of the vice chancellors appointed at the time, Prof. Auwalu Yadudu, later silently refused his post as vice chancellor of the Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, based on the controversial legality of the sack of the sitting vice chancellors.
Ambassadorial duties require one to relocate to the country of posting and take full charge of economic, political and social ties between Nigeria and the other country.
•Adapted from aBlueprint report. Photo shows Pauline Tallen.