The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the appointment of immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors.
They are General Abayomi Olonisakin (retd.), the former Chief of Defence Staff; Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai (retd.), the former Chief of Army Staff; Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd.), the former Chief of Air Staff; and Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, the former Chief of Naval Staff.
Also confirmed is Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman (retd.), the former Chief of Defence Intelligence.
They were confirmed after Senator Muhammed Bulkachuwa, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, presented a report for the consideration of the Senate during plenary on Tuesday.
Bulkachuwa said the nominees met the requirements expected of them.
“The nominees responded satisfactorily. At the end of the screening exercise; their nominations are in line with section 171 of the 1999 constitution,” the Bauchi senator said.
“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.”
But Senator Enyinaya Abaribe, the Senate Minority Leader, objected to the confirmation, insisting that the petition against the ex-service chiefs regarding their performance in the military had not been addressed.
“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 said.
But Senator Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President, dismissed Senator Abaribe’s objection.
“The nomination cannot be nullified because we asked them to be changed,” the Senate President said.
After stopping any further debate on the matter, Lawan put the question on the confirmation to a voice note, to which majority of the senators agreed.
Giving his remarks, the Senate President urged the Executive to utilise the experiences of the ex-service chiefs as much as possible and post to countries where they will be useful.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on 4 February nominated the immediate past service chiefs of the nation as as non-career ambassadors-designate.