Former United States Intelligence Community Expert on Nigeria, Matthew Page, revelation on Nigeria’s Ambassadorial nominee, Sylvanus Nsofor, being ‘too old’ is pointing at yet another US hypocrisy as there are more than five Senators who are Nsofor’s age in the US.
Page, in an interview with Osasu Igbenedion, said Nsofor might not be accepted by the US Government, due to his age as the position requires a “dynamic and energetic person”.
“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
“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.”
Nsofor, a retired Judge, was among the 45 non-career Ambassadors nominated by President Buhari to the Senate for confirmation but was rejected, along with Jacob Daudu, for not being confirmed based on the recommendation by the Foreign Affairs Committee.
He was however confirmed after his name was resent in the reviewed list.
Head of the Committee, Monsurat Sunmonu, said “The nominee answered all questions appropriately and his appearance was better than the previous one. The DSS report still maintained that he will not be able to perform the duty of an officer due to his advanced age.
“However, the committee believes that he should not be penalised based on age since he was able to demonstrate the necessary skills during the exercise.”
Nsofor’s age, according to Page, might be the reason for the US to disqualify him.
It should be worthy of note that, more than five Senators in the United States Senate are the same age with the retired Judge.
Dianne Feinstein, Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, Richard Shelby, Jim Inhofe among others are of Nsofor’s age.
Feinstein is a current legislature of California and also a ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Hatch is a Senator from Utah and also the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.
Grassley is representing Iowa in the Senate and Chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, while Shelby is from Alabama and Chairs the Senate Rules Committee.
Inhofe is the Senator from Oklahoma and is currently the Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee.
The former expert advised the Nigerian Government to reconsider their choice as the nominee might not be the best option.