Senator alleges imbalance in ambassadorial list

The Senator representing Bayelsa-Central senatorial district, Emmanuel Paulker, on Tuesday, faulted the exclusion of the indigenes of his state from the list of 47 career diplomats sent to the senate by President Muhammadu Buhari for screening and approval.

The Senator representing Bayelsa-Central senatorial district, Emmanuel Paulker,
The Senator representing Bayelsa-Central senatorial district, Emmanuel Paulker,

Paulker, who raised a point of order shortly before the commencement of plenary, told his colleagues that the development was an embarrassment to his people, owing to the fact that Bayelsa had qualified citizens in the foreign affairs ministry.

Paulker said, “Myself and two other colleagues from Bayelsa State in this senate, were inundated with calls from our constituents since the list was released, drawing our attention to the fact that no nominee from Bayelsa was on that list.

“Initially, I thought those calls were misplaced but as we went through the record this morning, the facts that are available to us, even at the foreign affairs ministry, showed that at least, we have two Bayelsans, who are on the level of deputy directors.

“I believe that these two personalities could fit into the positions of these nominees. There are some states that have up to three nominees.

“The exclusion of ‘Bayelsans’ from the list is a clear violation of our right in the constitution. My only prayer is that before the committee considers this list, I implore you (the Senate President) and my colleagues to intervene through the committee.

“In fact, communicate the omission to the Presidency so that justice could be done to Bayelsa State.”

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, said since the rules of the senate did not allow debate on any issue coming under point of order, the appropriate committee should take over the matter.

He said, “Distinguished colleagues, in line with our rules, Senator Paulker discussed this matter with me and you know that according to our rules, under Order 43, there would be no debate.

“However, I am happy that the Chairman, Committee on Foreign Affairs, Senator Monsurat Sunmonu, is here and I’m sure they (committee members) would take note of this observation while they carry out their work on this matter.”