Femi Gbajabiamila, the Chief of Staff to President Bola Tinubu, is reportedly facing increasing pressure from state governors and retired military officers who are submitting names of loyalists for ambassadorial appointments. This development comes as influential figures who were unsuccessful in securing ministerial nominations are now vying for these diplomatic positions.
According to sources, lobbying efforts are being spearheaded by prominent Nigerians seeking appointments, with many pushing for the profiles of their candidates. Those who did not secure ministerial positions are actively pursuing ambassadorial roles, with influential figures advocating for their preferred nominees.
Foreign Affairs Minister Yusuf Tuggar, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and International Relations Ambassador Olusola Enikanolaiye, and Chief of Staff to the President Femi Gbajabiamila are reportedly under intense pressure from various quarters, including National Assembly members, APC support groups, and party leaders, to secure coveted ambassadorial positions.
Lobbyists include past administrators, politicians, retired military personnel, unsuccessful governorship aspirants, and former heads of agencies under President Buhari. The lobbying intensifies as stakeholders strive to influence the ratio of career and non-career diplomats to be appointed, with sources suggesting a split of 55% to 45%.
Returning ambassadors are said to be concluding their tours of duty and heading back to Abuja, with many having already returned. While the list of shortlisted candidates remains confidential, the pressure to secure these diplomatic roles is evident, with various individuals submitting CVs and lobbying efforts ongoing.
The dynamics surrounding the ambassadorial appointments reflect a mix of political interests and career considerations, creating a complex landscape for decision-makers in the process. The final list of appointees is eagerly anticipated amid speculation and lobbying activities within the political and diplomatic circles.