Buhari Nominates Ex-Service Chiefs as Non-Career Ambassadors

Barely two weeks after announcing the end of the tenure of Nigeria’s former service chiefs, President Muhammadu Buhari has nominated same men as non-career ambassadors.

The former service chiefs- Lt.Gen Tukur Buratai (rtd), former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin (rtd), former Chief of Defense Staff, Vice-Admiral Ibok Ete-Ibas (rtd), former Chief of Naval Staff and Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar (rtd), former Chief of Air Staff, including Air Vice Marshall Mohammed S. Usman (rtd), the former Chief of Defence Intelligence have all been appointed as non-career ambassadors, subject to confirmation by the National Assembly.

“President Muhammadu Buhari has forwarded the names of the immediate past Service Chiefs to the Senate as non-career Ambassadors-Designate, ” Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the Nigerian President on Media and Publicity said.

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“In a letter to Senator Ahmad Ibrahim Lawan, President of the Senate, the President said: ‘In accordance with section 171 (1), (2) (c) & sub-section (4) of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the under-listed five (5) names of nominees as Non-Career Ambassadors-Designate’.

“The nominees are: Gen Abayomi G. Olonisakin (Rtd ), Lt Gen Tukur Y. Buratai (Rtd), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (Rtd), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Rtd), and Air Vice Marshal Mohammed S. Usman (Rtd).

“The President urged the Senate to give expeditious consideration to the nominations,” the statement said.

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Buhari had announced the appointment of new service chiefs on the 26th of January, many months after the former service chiefs were due for retirement.

The nomination of the new service chiefs as non-career ambassadors comes as a surprise to Nigerians who vehemently called for their dismissal months before their retirements were announced.

Nigeria has battled terrorism in the North-East since 2009, and the insecurity took new turns in recent years as banditry and kidnapping became new ills.

Buhari had announced the appointment of 41 non-career ambassadors in 2020 with encomiums showered on him for some of the names on the list.

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Thursday’s announcement of the nomination of the former service chiefs have come under the spotlight with many questioning the rationale behind the Nigerian President’s decision, despite frantic calls for their dismissal before their eventual retirements.

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