“Your Ambassadorial Nominee Too Old” – U.S Tells President Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari’s 82-year-old Ambassadorial nominee to the United States may be rejected for not being a “dynamic and energetic person”, Matthew Page, a former U.S intelligence community expert, has said.
Recall that Sylvanus Nsofor’s nomination as Ambassador to the U.S had sparked controversy when President Buhari sent his name to the Nigerian Senate.
The Senate had rejected Nsofor’s nomination after a report by the Department of State Service (DSS) advised that the ambassadorial nominee “will not be able to perform the duty of an officer due to his advanced age.”
Regardless, the Presidency sent the 82-year-old’s name back to upper legislative chamber for reconsideration, after which he was confirmed on June 7 for the job.
But Page, in an interview with Osasu Igbinedion on The Osasu Show, said the United States is uncomfortable with posting Nsofor to resume at its Washington DC office.
“This chap made headlines when he was nominated as an ambassador by Buhari. He is a very well respected Nigerian but his disadvantage is that he is 82-year-old,” Page said.
“What I am hearing is that the US government is very uneasy about agreeing to have this ambassador posted to Washington because that is an extremely arduous drop.
“You have a growing schedule and its one of Nigeria’s largest overseas embassies to manage. This is something that needs a very dynamic and energetic person with an enormous constitution.
“So, there is uneasiness but there is also the desire to respect when a country sends you an ambassador. You can’t just say no, send me another one.
“The Nigerian government may sort of reconsider and realise that that person may not be best suited and that there are obviously a lot of talented Nigerian diplomats.
“So I don’t think there is a shortage for choice. PMB for whatever reason in his mind just wants this particular guy for this particular post and it’s probably not the best fit.”
The intelligence expert further spoke on whether President Donald Trump will be actively involved in Nigeria’s 2019 presidential election as seen with the Barack Obama government in 2015.
Page said, “I think trump is disinterested in most things but especially Africa and it may not be a bad thing sometime.
“I think he views Africa as a place for his country club to go off and do business deals and get rich and I think that has echoes of colonialism.
“We all know that Trump is a white nationalist prefundamentaly racist person and the people around him are as well.
“Those individuals at the top don’t really care what’s happening in Nigeria or in Africa. But I think you will see some of the usual contribution from Americans and other international partners about the importance of voting and a good process.
“But I don’t think by any means will you see any sort of favouring one particular candidate over another because they go through great pains to avoid that even though the perception is not always the case from the Nigerian side,” he said.
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