Just In: Senate Confirms Ex-Service Chiefs As Ambassadors

Service chiefs in Nigeria
The outgoing service chiefs are Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Chief of Air Staff); Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas (Chief of Naval Staff); Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (Chief of Army Staff); and General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin (Chief of Defence Staff).

Senate has on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of immediate former service chiefs as non-career ambassadors-designate.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari nominated them as non-career ambassadors after they resigned their previous positions.

Read Also: Buhari Nominates Immediate Past Service Chiefs As Ambassadors

However, many Nigerians expressed their displeasure with the appointment on the grounds that the past service chiefs failed to quell the insurgency in the north-east and to keep the country safe.

Some groups sent petitions to the Senate against their confirmation on these grounds.

The nominees are: General Abayomi Olonisakin (retd) (Ekiti); Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd) (Borno); Vice Admiral Ibok- Ette Ibas (retd) (Cross River); Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd) (Bauchi); and Air Vice Marshal Muhammad S. Usman (Rtd) (Kano).

Read Also: Senate Committee Screen Former Service Chiefs For Ambassadorial Positions

Their confirmation followed consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, chaired by Senator Adamu Bulkachuwa (APC, Bauchi).

While presenting the report on Thursday, Bulkachuwa said the nominees met the requirements expected of them.

The Bauchi senator said;

The nominees responded satisfactorily. At the end of the screening exercise; their nominations are in line with section 171 of the 1999 constitution.

That the nominees have been cleared by the Department of State Services (DSS). That the nominees have presented their code of conduct slips.

That the nominees rose to a point of their career that has made them eminently qualified. The committee is satisfied with their character and performance.

However, Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, drew the attention of his colleagues to the petition.

According to Abaribe, the petition borders on the integrity of the senate, saying;

That petition borders on the integrity of the senate; it said that we called for their removal, how then do we confirm them for another appointment.

He was however opposed by Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, saying;

The nomination cannot be nullified because we asked them to be changed.

Senate, thereafter, resolved into the committee of the whole to confirm the nominees despite echos of “nays” from many senators.

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