Ambassadorial nominee from Anambra State, Mrs Vivian Okeke; another nominee, Mr Ibrahim Isah, from Niger State and yet another nominee from Benue State, Mrs Ada Ndem, surely get this one for the outgoing week following their mediocre performance while undergoing screening in the hands of Senate committee members at the National Assembly.
The Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and observers were shocked to the marrows, recently, when Mrs Ndem did not know the capital of Lagos State while Mrs Okeke and Mr Isah could not correctly recite the National Anthem and National Pledge respectively.
The mild drama took place at the commencement of the screening of 47 ambassadorial nominees by the committee in the National Assembly in Abuja.
Upon the take-off of the screening exercise, nominee Mrs Okeke, who was the first to face the screening committee, was asked to recite the National Anthem but she became nervous and although she started the recitation, she could not carry through the test hence, a member of the committee, Senator James Manager, compassionately came to her rescue by helping her to recite it to the end.
In the same vein, Ibrahim Isah, from Niger State, was asked by the chairman of the Committee, Senator Monsurat Summonu, to recite the National Pledge. Like Okeke, Isah failed the simple screening test as he could not correctly recite it.
During the recitation, Isah had said “…to defend her unity and integrity, so help me God,” instead of “to defend her unity, and uphold her honour and glory, so help me God.”
Besides, another nominee from Benue State, Mrs. Ada Ndem, was asked to mention 12 states in Nigeria and their capitals but when she got to Lagos, she said the capital of Lagos is Lagos.
Failing these simple tests worried some watchers as they wondered how the nation’s ambassadors could be unable to recite the anthem or pledge of the country they are going to represent just as it was viewed to be shocking that an educated Nigerian who rose to a laudable height in civil service did not know the capital of Lagos, the most popular state in the country.
Nevertheless, sadly and unfortunately, their failure in these simple tests did not imply that they would not scale the confirmation hurdle as they also correctly answered other questions posed to them before they were eventually asked to “take a bow and go.”
Without mincing words and going to the point, it‘s a shame this happened and they were asked to take a bow and go. In other climes, they would be disqualified. If a mere job seeker who fails a job interview/test is dropped, in same vein, such nominees should suffer the same fate. It simply shows incompetence. How can one explain this? Potential ambassadors don’t know the anthem, pledge of their own country which they are about to go serve/represent overseas! So, in times of gatherings involving diplomats from comity of nations, when anthems and pledges are being recited, they would be ‘chopping mouth’ – as we say in local parlance – to the dismay of their counterparts! These are typical examples of square pegs about to be put in round holes undoubtedly. Also, it’s shameful and disgusting that Senate committee members were helping them out in the process aside approving them. Smh!
Thumbs down to Mrs Vivian Okeke, Mr Ibrahim Isah and Mrs Ada Ndem…Shame on the trio!!!