The call of duty is over for top ranking members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who were appointed ambassadors by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
They were recalled home last night by President Muhammadu Buhari after three years of service abroad.
Prominent among them are a former Foreign Affairs Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe (Canada); Chairman of the Jonathan Presidential Campaign Organisation in the 2011 election, Dr. Dalhatu Tafida (UK);Professor Ade Adefuye (USA);widow of the late Ikemba Nnewi, Chief Emeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Bianca (Spain);and former deputy governor of Oyo State, Mr. Taofeek Arapaja (Jordan).
The rest include a former aviation minister, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze (Switzerland);ex-General Manager, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Ibadan, Mr. Yemi Farounbi (Philippines); a one-time governorship aspirant in Lagos State, Mr. Olatokunbo Kamson (Jamaica); a PDP front liner in Ondo State, Mr. Cornelius Oluwateru (UAE); Alhaji Abubakar Shehu Bunu (Saudi Arabia); a former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General in Benue State, Mr. Chive Kaave (Argentina); a former financial secretary of the PDP, Alhaji Tukur Mani (Iran);and former permanent secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA Biodun Nathaniel Olorunfemi (Namibia).
Also on the list are: Chief Asam Asam (SAN), (Russia); Mr. Okwudili Nwosu (Burundi); Mr. Okeke Chukwuemeka (Vatican); Mr. Eric Aworahbi (Italy); Dauda Danladi (Pakistan); and Mrs. Katherine Okon (Czeck Republic); Mr. Nwofe Alexander,; Princess Victoria Bosede Onipede (Republic of Congo); Senator Haruna Garba (Kuwait); Mrs. Nonye Rajis-Okpara (Singapore); Chief Eddy Onuoha (Hungary); Mr. Adamu Babangida Ibrahim (Syria); Dr. Sam Jimba (Poland)
They were among the 93 envoys posted out in June 2012.
Authoritative sources said last night in Abuja that the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, had communicated the President’s directive to the affected ambassadors.
They were told to hand over to the highest ranking officer in their various locations.
A Presidency source confirmed to The Nation that some of the ambassadors including the envoy in Saudi Arabia were already on their way back to the country at press time.
The source said: “the President has issued a directive to the Permanent Secretary in Ministry of Foreign Affairs to recall all the political appointees currently serving as ambassadors in all parts of the world. It doesn’t matter whether they have just few months to the end of their tenure.
“I am sure the envoy in Saudi Arabia is already on his way and quite many others should be reporting to the ministry by Monday. I really don’t have a comprehensive list of the number of people that are affected but they are posted in different continents mostly in key European, Asian and American countries.”
The sack is the biggest since President Buhari assumed office on May 29.
Their nominations were endorsed by the Senate on Wednesday February 8, 2012, nearly two months after former President Jonathan submitted their names.
On the list were 32 names of politicians.
The ex-President in a letter to the then Senate President, David Mark, requested that in line with section 171(1) C, sub-section 4 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the Senate should consider the list, hoping that “this exercise will receive the usual kind expeditious attention of the Distinguished Members of the Senate of the Federal Republic.”
Of the 88 nominees sent to the Senate by Jonathan, only 87 appeared before the screening committee, while 84 passed the screening. Two of the nominees, Mrs. Sifawu Momoh, Edo; and Mazi Okafor Ojih, Ebonyi, could not scale the screening as the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs did not recommend them for confirmation.
Mrs. Bianca Ojukwu, who was nominated to represent Anambra State on the list of non-career category, did not appear for screening but was confirmed nonetheless, her nomination coming barely a week after her husband died in a London hospital.
Maduekwue was nominated by Jonathan following his ouster as National Secretary of the party in what observers said was a move to placate him.
Kamson, Njeze and Arapaja had all failed to secure the party’s governorship tickets in their states.
The recall of Ambassadors serving in foreign missions is a routine exercise especially where there is a change of guard at the federal level.
Reps Committees probes identities of contractors involved in N18.9b bush clearing contracts
The Public Account Committee of the House of Representatives, PAC on Wednesday, resolved to unmask the real identities of the owners of the companies which took contracts valued the sum of N18.9 billion from the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for clearing of bushes, land preparation, rehabilitation of soil plant lab and others during the last COVID-19 lockdown of the country.
The resolution followed the appearance of representatives of two of the 20 affected companies at the resumed investigative hearing of the Committee on queries to Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs of the federal government by the Office of Auditor General of the Federation.
The affected companies are: Easy Construction Company LTD and NUKAAG VENTURES LTD respectively while the remaining 18 companies failed to show up.
The Committee being chaired by Hon Wole Oke (PDP-OSUN) said that the two representatives of the Companies (Johnson Philip and Taiwo Idowu), were of the Managerial cadre and as such not competent to appear before the Committee going by the Rules of the House.
Responding to a question posed by the Chairman of the Committee on whether they were familiar with the submission submitted to the Committee on the award and execution of the contractors so as not to mislead it, they both said no.
Consequently, the Committee directed the duo to leave immediately and directed that the Managing Directors or Chairmen of the companies should personally appear before it and speak to the submission before the Committee.
In addition, Hon Oke directed the Clerk of the Committee to write to the Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC to furnish the Committee, the detailed information of the affected 20 companies, including year of incorporation, Corporate offices, names of the owners, shareholders amongst others.
According to him, “we are not concerned about who won the contracts, what we are after is to deter value for money paid out and the sites of the projects, and we will carry that mission to the latter.
“The Clerk should also write the Federal Inland Revenue Services, FIRS, to furnish the Committee about the financial status of the companies.
Hon Oke assured that the Committee would carry out a diligent investigation into the matter as it was interested in finding out the location of the projects and the significance of such projects to the country.
Blackout looms as IKEDC stops operations
The Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company (IKEC) has announced a shutdown of operations following the issues between the National Union of Electricity Employees and the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TUC).
In a statement on Wednesday via its verified Twitter handle, @IkejaElectric, the Disco announced the shutdown of operations.
The statement read partly, “Due to the ongoing nationwide picketing of Transmission Stations by the NUEE, we are currently experiencing disruption of power supply as most stations within our network have been shut down.
“Kindly bear with us as we await an amicable resolution by the relevant stakeholders.”
Organised labour had on Tuesday directed workers in the power sector to shutdown and commence an indefinite strike over pending issues with the TCN.
The aggrieved workers under the aegis of the NUEE were at the Abuja national headquarters of the TCN Tuesday as a prelude to the proposed strike.
The union noted that the strike was in protest of a directive by the TCN Board mandating all PMs in acting capacity going to the Annual General Meeting to appear for promotional interviews.
In a circular titled, ‘Call to Action,’ which was addressed to senior assistant general secretaries and zonal organising secretaries, dated August 15, 2022, the General Secretary of the NUEE, Joe Ajaero, directed electricity workers to ensure total compliance, vowing to paralyse operations of the TCN nationwide over anti-masses activities.
Electricity workers’ strike throws South-East into blackout
Power distribution has been halted completely in the entire South-East States.
This follows the industrial action embarked upon by the National Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) at the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) power stations.
The development threw the five South-East States into a total blackout, Wednesday afternoon.
Emeka Ezeh, Head Corporate Communications, EEDC, confirmed that that operations across the franchise area of the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC (EEDC) have been disrupted.
He said, “as a result of this development all our feeders are out of supply and this has affected supply to our esteemed customers in Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo States.
“Consultations are ongoing among critical stakeholders in the power sector to address this issue and possibly restore supply.
“The Management of EEDC hereby encourage customers and neighbourhood associations to be vigilant and protect the electrical installations within their environment against elements who might take advantage of this outage to vandalise these installations.”
“We, therefore, appeal for continued patience and understanding while this is resolved,” he noted.
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