Senate on Tuesday, confirmed the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors, ignoring two petitions against the nominees and the complaints by some senators.
General Abayomi G. Olonisakin, Lt. General Tukur Y. Buratai, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete E. Ibas and Air Marshal Sadique B. Abubakar were removed as service chiefs on February and were subsequently nominated as non-career ambassadors by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The nomination of another retired military chief Air Vice Marshal Muhammad S. Usman was also confirmed.
“These nominees that we have just confirmed are nominees that have served this country to the best of their ability. Our appeal to the Executive is to make sure they use their experiences as military men to the best,” Senate President Ahmed Lawan said.
The confirmation comes barely five days after they were screened by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs and three weeks after they were nominated by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The confirmation comes amidst criticism of their nomination by many Nigerians. This was shortly after presidential media aide, Femi Adesina, announced on February 4 that the president had forwarded the ex-service chiefs’ names to the Senate for confirmation as non-career ambassadors.
There were many allegations levelled before the ex-military chiefs ranging from the 2015 massacre of more than 340 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), violent attacks on members of the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), last October’s shooting of innocent Nigerians who took part in the #EndSARS protest at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, the extrajudicial killings in Oyigbo, an Igbo settlement in Rivers State, among others, Premium Times reported.
Experts, both foreign and local, have called on the national assembly and even countries where they will be posted to reject them as ambassadors