The Nigerian Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of four former service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had nominated General Abayomi G. Olonisakin, Lt. General Tukur Y. Buratai, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete E. Ibas and Air Marshal Sadique B. Abubakar as non-career ambassadors, following their retirement as the country’s security service chiefs.
Their confirmation followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Bulkachuwa, on Tuesday.
“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.
Earlier, the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, had drawn the attention of the Senators to a petition against the nomination of the service chiefs, but was shelved aside by the Senate President.
Responding, the Senate President pointed out that the Senate resolution demanding their removal was in no way related to President Buhari’s request for the Senate to confirm them as Ambassadors-Designate, adding that, “these are two separate roles.”
“Without prejudice to what the executive will do, where we need to fight the Boko Haram insurgency and banditry, because of their experience in the field, they should be able to interact very closely and sufficiently to advice and create the atmosphere for working together, for partnership and cooperation between Nigeria and those countries.
“So, I think on that scope, the nomination cannot be nullified because we said they should be changed,” Mr Lawan said.
The nominees were, thereafter, confirmed after a motion moved by the Senate Leader, Yahaya Abdullahi, to that effect and seconded by the Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe.
The Senate President in his remarks after the nominees were confirmed advised the Executive arm of government to deploy them to countries where their experiences as former military officers would be required.
Mr Lawan said: “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.”