The former service chiefs on Tuesday got the Senate’s nod and had their appointments as non-career ambassadors confirmed.
Their confirmation was predicated on the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs led by Senator Mohammed Bulkachuwa.
Recall that President, Ahmad Lawan, had on February 10, directed the Committee on Foreign Affairs to confirm General Abayomi Olonisakin (retd) (Ekiti); Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd) (Borno); Vice-Admiral Ibok- Ette Ibas (retd) (Cross River; Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar(retd) (Bauchi); and Air Vice Marshal Muhammad S. Usman (retd) (Kano) as non-career ambassadors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
However, a spirited move by the Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe to draw the attention of his colleagues to a petition against their confirmation was stopped by the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan.
Abaribe had asked Bulkachuwa to give reasons why the petition against them was dismissed but Lawan said it lacked merit.
Bulkachuwa later explained in his presentation said their appointments were made in line with section 171(40) of the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“Their experiences as Service Chiefs and in the military where they rose to the highest ranks in their careers have made them eminently qualified; and that the nominees were very knowledgeable and articulate in their response to questions directed at them by the Committee,” he said.
He, however, acknowledged that in the report that “the Committee received petitions against their nominations as Non-Career Ambassadors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria but the petitions were dismissed.”
Again, the Senate President noted that the Senate resolution demanding their removal was in no way related to President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for the Senate to confirm them as Ambassadors-Designate, stating that, “these are two separate roles.”