Statement from Senator Suswam on allegations of opposing Tarzoor’s nomination as ambassador

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ALLEGATIONS THAT, I SENATOR GABRIEL SUSWAM, OPPPOSED TARZOOR’S SENATE SCREENING AS AMBASSADORIAL NOMINEE ARE FALSE, MISCHIEVIOUS AND UNFORTUNATE

I have been inundated with calls and messages from well meaning constituents of mine as well as friends, associates and good citizens of Benue State and Nigeria at large regarding a rumour making the rounds that I opposed the screening of Ambassadorial nominee, Rt. Hon. Terhemen Tarzoor, on the floor of the Senate at its last plenary.

As a responsible and responsive public servant I am mindful of the need to keep channels of communication open at all times with the public on issues of common interest, and in this wise I make the following clarifications:

That this rumour is nothing but a mischievous and unfortunate fabrication which can only come from detractors intent on inputting negative content to my public standing.

That while the friendship between myself and Rt. Hon. Tarzoor is age-old and need no emphasising here, it is instructive for the exigent purpose to state that since his Ambassadorial nomination he has paid a number of visits to me, both at home and in the office during which we have explored shared perspectives on the potential task before him as an Ambassador.

That I also did the needful as a serving Senator and a friend to introduce him to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, my Distinguished colleague, Senator Bulkachua, to facilitate a hitch-free screening for my Ambassadorial nominee friend at the Committee level and also for subsequent working relations between them.

That proof of the convivial relations I fostered between the leadership of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Rt. Hon. Tarzoor can be gauged in the fact of his having been extended the courtesy of “Taking a Bow” at the Senate plenary, which is a privilege reserved for those who have earned the respect of the Legislature anywhere in the world.

That it was at that same plenary I had risen to question the rationale for having 3 nominees from the Zone ‘C’ Senatorial District of Benue alone, while there is only a single nominee from the Zone ‘B’ and none from my own Zone ‘A’.

That records of proceedings at that plenary bear infallible testimony to the fact that I spoke only and only in objection to the disproportionate number of nominees from one part of Benue State to the inexplicable neglect of the other parts, including mine, and not in opposition to the confirmation of my Ambassadorial nominee friend, as being falsely and mischievously alleged by some.

That on the same day Senators from other parts of the country had also questioned some of the Ambassadorial nominations.

That for instance, my Distinguished colleague, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe queried why his state, Abia, and another state, Kebbi, and the FCT had no Ambassadorial nominees, while states like Oyo, Kwara and Kano had 3 nominees each.

That on account of the reservations expressed by some other Senators too at that same plenary of the Senate, a number of the Ambassadorial nominees had their confirmations stepped down.

That it is disheartening, to say the least, for elements of the opposition in Benue, some of them from those effected parts of the state which I protested on behalf of, to seek to twist the entire situation of my observations into a sordid narrative in a bid to score cheap political points.

That this sad situation brings to mind how earlier this year I had raised a written protestation to the Minister of Education challenging the citing of both the Federal University of Health Sciences and the Federal College of Education in the same Zone ‘C’ Senatorial District, but the same opposition elements had attempted to twist the situation into a macabre tale against me.

That even then, as now, they had crafted a fiction about how I was opposed to the actualisation of an imaginary Federal Polytechnic cited in Adikpo.

This attitude raises and amplifies the sad spectacle of a people who aren’t being mindful of the need to identify their common interests and strive in unison to actualise same in an increasingly competitive Nigerian societal setting.

It also raises the question; What do the Tiv people want for I and my Distinguished colleague, Senator Emmanuel Yisa Orker Jev?

Is it for us to merely warm our seats in the Senate and keep quiet while our people are being short changed in the scheme of things?

Where are we headed as a nationality?

Two federal educational institutions all given to one Senatorial Zone and 3 Ambassadors to the same Zone and because I raised objection, people from this same parts being short changed are twisting the facts and weaving a mischievous narrative against me?

This is sad and indeed unacceptable as a standard for a people.

As a representative of my people on the national arena, I am at pains to urge the Tiv people to scale down the content of negative politics at play in our affairs, as it is already dangerously inimical to collective progress and growth.

We must not destroy our common interests and bonds all in the name of politics.

Remain blessed.

Senator Gabriel Torwua Suswam,
Benue North-East Senatorial District.
July 25th, 2020.

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