Senate confirms Olonisakin, Buratia, other ex-service chiefs as ambassadors

Ex-service chiefs shortly before their retirement in January

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of the immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors, despite criticisms in some quarters.

They are former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; the former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; and the former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas.

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Others are former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and the former Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman.

The Senate Minority Leader Enyinaya Abaribe, however, questioned the nomination and confirmation of the ex-service chiefs when the Senate had on three different occasions called for their sack.

Senator Abaribe also questioned why the petitions against the former service chiefs were dismissed without explanations.

But Senate President Ahmad Lawan dismissed Senator Abaribe’s concerns, ruling that the nomination of the former service chiefs cannot be nullified simply because the upper chamber had called for their sack, noting that this is totally a different assignment.

The Senate President promptly stopped any further debate on the matter.

In his concluding statement, Senator Lawan added that the former service chiefs have served the country to the best of their abilities.

He urged the Executive to utilise their experiences as much as possible and they should be posted to countries where they will be useful.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier on February 4, nominated the immediate past service chiefs of the nation as ambassadors.

The former service chiefs were appointed as non-career ambassadors-designate a week after their replacement with new officers.

They were said to have tendered their resignation from their positions amid heightened calls that they should be sacked due to the disturbing rate of insecurity in the country.

 

Senate Screening Of Ex-Service Chiefs 

On February 18, the former service chiefs were screened by the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Members of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs before the commencement of the screening of immediate former Service Chiefs at the National Assembly on Thursday, February 18, 2021.
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The committee which was led by Senator Mohammed Bulkachuwa held a closed-session before the service chiefs were ushered into the room for the commencement of the screening.

The former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin was the first to be screened. He spoke on insecurity in the country and warned that the next warfare and crisis in the country will be in the forests.

The former service chiefs sit before the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs for the screening.

 

He explained that research which he conducted on forests three years ago shows that Nigeria has over 1,000 forest reserves and there is an urgent need to man and protect the forests which have become hideouts for criminals.

The Former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai during his screening also spoke concerning the security crisis in the country.

He lamented that the terrorists have permeated the society and won the communities to their side. (Channels TV)

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