The Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has urged the National Assembly to confirm the nomination of former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (rtd) and some other Service Chiefs as non-career ambassadors.
HURIWA said the National Assembly can endorse the appointments of the ex-Service Chiefs because there is no extant law stopping the immediate past security chiefs from being posted out as envoys after their disengagement.
In a letter dated February 9, 2021, and signed by HURIWA’s National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, the rights group said there was no justification for the criticisms of their selection by President Buhari.
Buhari had recently nominated retired Defense Chief, Abayomi Olonisakin, former Army Chief Tukur Buratai, former Navy Chief Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas and former Air Chief Sadique Abubakar as non-career ambassadors.
Their nomination is still subject to confirmation by the National Assembly.
However, the Rights group said if the nominations are not confirmed, it would dampen the morale of servicemen who would now believe that there is no need for them to be absolutely loyal to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The letter addressed to the leadership of the National Assembly reads: “We strongly believe that Nigeria stands to gain global mileage by the appointments of immediate past service chiefs as Nigerian Ambassadors as made by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“On behalf of our teeming members numbering over eight thousand fees’ paying and dedicated registered members in Nigeria, and thousands of online members and affiliates of all Nations on earth, we write the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Federal House of Representatives this short letter of our endorsement of the immediate past service Chiefs as Nigerian Ambassadors as made in the discretionary powers of the head of the Executive Arm of the government of Nigeria, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari(GCFR).
“As adumbrated by some scholars of international diplomacy, it is a truism that the 21st century has paved the way for greater connection, communication, and trade on a global scale. With a greater connection worldwide, the need for effective, progressive diplomatic relations between countries is of the utmost importance.
“Specifically, effective ambassadors are needed to promote international relations, trade, and foreign policy. It is therefore in the light of the above facts universally acknowledged that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari had nominated immediate past service chiefs of the country as ambassadors.
“As a sign of growing acceptance of the exercise of the democratic Freedoms, some critics with connection and access to the popular media had rated the former service chiefs low in the state of security in Nigeria, but the man with the authority to appoint service Chiefs President Muhammadu Buhari said they had an “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country.”
“We in the organised civil society community in Nigeria and particularly in the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA HURIWA and over 36 affiliates registered credible groups, we believe that the service chiefs dedicated over 4 decades of their highly productive and professional lives in the services of humanity and Nigeria our fatherland.
“Our letter is to urge you to expeditiously approve and confirm these noble nominations so as to pass the message that 100 PERCENT LOYALTY TO NIGERIA PAYS BECAUSE THESE GENERALS ARE SOME OF THE FINEST PROFESSIONALS IN AFRICA
The Rights group said the criticisms from “some few vocal persons were misplaced and substantially grounded on hearsay, speculation and rumours lacking empirical evidence.”
HURIWA urged the National Assembly not to “enlist in the assembly of the radical mobs who are opposing these well thought out appointments by the President but should demonstrate patriotism by confirming the nominations of ex-service chiefs as Nigeria’s representatives in foreign jurisdictions.”