The Senate at plenary on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of former service chiefs appointed non-career ambassadors by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The former service chiefs include Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai; and Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas; Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, and Chief of Defence Intelligence, Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman.
The nomination of the former service chiefs by President Muhammadu Buhari for ambassadorial appointments generated controversies across the country. The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, had explained that the president had appointed the former service chiefs as ambassadors to reward them for their roles in the fight against insecurity in the country.
However, the Senate Minority Leader, Enyinaya Abaribe, had at different times in the National Assembly challenged the nomination and confirmation of the former service chiefs after three occasions the Senate demanded for their sack because of their failures to contain the insecurity crisis in the country.
Senator Abaribe also raised concerns over the petitions against the former service chiefs that were dismissed without explanations.
The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, overruled Senator Abaribe’s concerns, arguing that the nomination of the former service chiefs cannot be nullified simply because the Senate called for their sack. He stated that this is totally a different assignment.
Senate President Lawan subsequently halted further debate on the nominated service chiefs for clearance for ambassadorial appointments.
Senator Lawan insisted that the former service chiefs served the country to the best of their abilities.
President Muhammadu Buhari had communicated his nomination of the former service chiefs on February 4, 2021 for ambassadorial appointments to the Senate for screening and confirmation.