Suswam didn’t oppose Tarzoor’s Ambassadorial screening, says Senate Press Corps member
Nigerian Concord Newspaper
A senior member of the Senate Press Corps, Mr. Solomon Ayado, has given an account of what transpired at the Senate the day all the Non- Career Ambassadorial nominees were to be screened by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs headed by Senator Bulkachuwa.
Ayado’s account being a witness of the fateful event has put to rest all the allegations from the Benue opposition members that the senator representing Benue NorthEast at the Senate, Senator Gabriel Torwua Suswam, was opposed to the screening of one of the nominees from Benue state, Rt. Hon. Terhemen Tarzoor.
According to the senior members of the Senate Press Corps, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Power was only being misquoted as he was only making a case for his Zone.
He added that Suswam was only agitating the Non- inclusion of a nominee from Zone A in the list of the Non-Career Ambassadorial nominees.
Ayado writes: “At first, I did not want to dabble into this issue owing to its politicization that paved unwarranted inflammatory reactions from the uninformed standpoint of some opposing Benue social media urchins, but I am compared to note here, without any bias, and not as Senator Gabriel Suswam’s spokesperson, but as a senior member of the Senate Press Corps(SPC), who attended and covered the Senate plenary on the day of confirmation of ambassadorial nominees – and I, being a constituent from Benue North East.
“I was in Senate that day of the ambassadorial nominees confirmation, because it is my official responsibility as it is mandatory I cover plenary for my medium. I am the only Benue indigene of Tiv in the SPC.
“ON THE FLOOR of the Senate, many Senators protested when the report of the committee on foreign affairs was presented. All of them had varied reasons. It was a major item on the Order Paper of the Senate.
“First, Suswam’s protest was hinged on the imbalance of the entire nominations across the states. He spoke generally and made specific reference to Benue, his state and Benue North East, his senatorial district. He insisted there was “no reflection of federal character.” He noted that while many states had three ambassadorial nominees, the case of Benue was inexplicably different – without three ambassadorial nominees, a situation Suswam openly, factually and emphatically questioned.
“His colleague, Senator Aduda(FCT) also had vehemently protested for noninclusion of the FCT, just like other Senators from Taraba, etc, who had their peculiar reasons.
“He, Suswam, also, during his presentation, queried why his Senatorial district did not have a nominee, hence three nominations were allotted to other states which suggestively covering the three senatorial districts of those states.
“He, Senator Suswam had asked the Senate, that the entire nominations, be stepped down till federal character is invoked. He never, from my coverage, not at all, specifically called for non-confirmation of Tarzoor. I can say this without tampering with the obvious politicization of the matter.
“Besides, i am briefed by reliable National Assembly sources of unannounced effort Senator Suswam made to aid the smooth sail of Tarzoor through the Senate committee that screened the nominees. I attended the screening though. If at all, Tarzoor may know what Suswam aided and only him may know.
“Alas, Senator Suswam had hosted Tarzoor in his office, immediately after he (Tarzoor) was screened by the Senate committee. That day, it kept many at NASS wondering when Tarzoor was in Senator Suswam’s office, at the New Building of the Senate Wing. Tarzoor is APC while Suswam is PDP. Suswam does not represent Benue North West where Tarzoor come from. Tarzoor was not kept waiting at Suswam’s office… I witnessed Suswam quickly discharged all other visitors when Tarzoor entered his office. I personally met with Tarzoor in Suswam’s office that day, we greeted and exchanged pleasantries. He asked me: “Orne shi u ngu jee? among others. After our greetings, I sat with his aide, Torwua kyenge, discussing boys’ issues, when Suswam shortly called on me, we spoke (tet-a-tet)and I quickly left the office while Tarzoor remained. To me, this I witnessed speak volumes.
“Of course, I noticed that Suswam is always casted for wrong reasons. Maybe, that is his political cross to bear but like always, in the end, he (Suswam) is always hailed as a very good man, a man-of-the-people politician who is better than the rest. This life”