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Outrage as ambassadorial nominees fail to recite anthem


Screening of others continues

foreign minister, geoffrey onyeama

By Lukmon Akintola


Outrage has greeted the failure of some of Presidential Muhammadu Buhari’s ambassadorial nominees to recite the Nigerian national anthem, during a screening session by the Senate committee on Foreign Affairs.
The Senate Committee on foreign affairs, which is headed by Senator Monsurat Sunmonu recently began its screening exercise of the ambassadorial nominees, following the acceptance of the list sent to the upper legislative chamber by President Buhari on June 9 for approval as career diplomats that will be representing the country in different missions.
The screening, however, became dramatic as some of the nominees were unable to recite the national anthem and pledge fluently.
Mrs. Vivian Okeke from Anambra State, mumbled the last line of the first stanza, when asked to recite the national anthem by Monsurat Sunmonu but was rescued by a member of the committee.
Another nominee that made many of the members of the eight-man committee to break into laughter was Ibrahim Isah from Niger State, who was unable to recite the national pledge when asked to do so.
Reacting to this, Mr Abiodun Fatai noted that it is a shame for Nigeria as a country, if the image makers of the country could not recite the national anthem, which should serve as their mission and vision statement at work.
“It is sad that people take this issue as a laughing matter. These are the people that will be representing the country in foreign missions and yet they cannot recite the national anthem and pledge. Normally, the national anthem should serve as the mission and vision statement, which should be ringing in their brains at all times,” he said.
Also, commenting on this issue after the session was a senator, who noted that “How can diplomats not know the national anthem and pledge? If it were lawmakers now, they will come for us.”
It is however believed by some other commentators that the failure to recite the national anthem and pledge correctly should not necessarily affect the effective discharge of their duties at work.
This was the position of Engr. Ahmed Akintola who stated: “I do not see this as a big deal. Lots of people in the country cannot recite the national anthem and that does not imply that they are not loyal to their country” he explained.
The screening exercise that started yesterday is continuing as only 15 out of the 47 nominees were attended to on Day 1 of the exercise.

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