- The Nigerian Senate has explained why it approved the nomination of ex-service chiefs as non-career ambassadors
- The House announced the confirmation of the nomination during plenary on Tuesday, February 23
- The opposition had faulted the nomination of ex-service chiefs
The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday, February 23, confirmed ex-chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai, and former chief of defence, Gabriel Olonisakin as non-career ambassadors.
The lawmakers also approved the nomination of a former chief of air staff, Ibok Ibas and ex-chief of naval staff as envoys.
The Senate leadership ignored petitions against the nominees and the complaints by some senators.
The president of the Senate, Ahmed Lawan, told the lawmakers that they cannot nullify the nominations of the former military commanders simply because the House demanded that they be removed as service chiefs.
''The nominees that we have just confirmed are nominees that have served this great country to the best of their ability as Service Chiefs and today, they have been confirmed as Non-Career Ambassadors.
“Our appeal to the Executive is to make sure that we utilize their experiences as Military men to the best, because we should be able to post them to countries where they can be much more useful in their engagements as Ambassadors.”
Legit.ng recalls that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had opposed the nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as envoys.
The party accused the president of trying to use the appointment as a ploy to shield the former military officers from prosecution over their alleged role in extrajudicial killings in the country.
Kola Ologbondiyan, the spokesperson for the party in a statement on Thursday, February 4, urged the Nigerian Senate to reject the nominations.
The former Nigerian Army chief said he is not a politician, and thus cannot give any reply to the PDP.
In other news, a recent statement from Tukur Buratai indicates that Nigeria’s war on insurgency may not end anytime soon.
The Cable reported that the former chief of army staff said it may take 20 years to end the insurgency in the north-east.
Buratai made the statement on Thursday, February 18, when he was being screened by the senate committee on foreign affairs following his nomination by President Muhammadu Buhari as an envoy.
Kess Ewubare is a senior political/current affairs correspondent at Legit.ng. He has both a BSc and a Master’s degree in mass communication. He has over 10 years of experience in working in several fields of mass communication including radio, TV, newspaper, and online. For Kess, journalism is more than a career, it is a beautiful way of life.