Civil Society organizations operating under the auspices of the Conference of Civil Societies of Nigeria, CCSN, has applauded the nomination of immediate past service chiefs as non-career ambassadors by President Muhammadu Buhari.
President Buhari had last week forwarded the mane of Gen Abayomi G Olonisakin (rtd); Lt Gen Tukur Y Buratai (rtd); Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (rtd); Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (rtd), and Air vice Marshal Mohammed S Usman (rtd) to the Senate for confirmation as ambassadors.
The president in a statement by his media adviser, Femi Adesina, said, “In accordance with section 171 (1), (2) (c) & sub-section (4) of 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, I have the honour to forward for confirmation by the Senate, the under-listed five (5) names of nominees as Non-Career Ambassadors-Designate.”
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, Chairman of Conference of Civil Societies of Nigeria, Comrade Adams Otakwu, declared that the nomination of the former military chiefs will benefit the country in the war against insurgents.
Comrade Otakwu said “the Conference of Civil Society of Nigeria is the umbrella forum of Civil Societies working for National Security and Development as well as the voice and conscience of the masses, welcomes the nomination of Ex-Service Chiefs as Ambassador-designates by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR as a step in the right direction.
Chairman of CCSN explained that “our position is against unnecessary speculations by some groups who fault the nomination as a ‘political appeasement’ and veiled attempt to shield the Ex-Service Chiefs from an investigation by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in line with Article 29 of the Vienna Convention, which protects diplomats from arrest and grants them immunity against civil and criminal prosecution.
He added that “as civil society, we have a moral duty to be Watchdog of Society as well as Pray for the Good of our country, rather than engage in puerile politics of projecting gloomy portrait, unsavoury narratives, cynicism and reputation – tarnishing of our citizens and country to the international community. We perceive the calls on the Senate and host countries to reject these nominations [without heeding the principle of reciprocity], as unnecessary burdens on diplomatic initiatives of the Nigerian Government.
Comrade Otakwu continued “the Ex-Service Chiefs with their highest professional credentials, contributed their quotas to national security, and this new assignment would expose them to international diplomacy, politics and engagements with global institutions of governance.
“It will further afford them the rare opportunity of sharing security experiences of third world countries with the diplomatic community to galvanize and shore up strategic diplomatic support for the fight against terrorism and insurgency in Nigeria, as well as reinforce intelligence, non-adversarial resolutions and surveillance across jurisdictional and other boundaries in the world.
“We hence commend this nomination by His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari as a discharge of constitutional responsibility and pray that further steps and actions of Government will build greater public confidence, Peace, Security and Development in Nigeria. We congratulate the nominees and call on the Senate for their speedy confirmation as well as confirmation of the new Service Chiefs who will be leading our amiable Military to protect our territory at this moment in history”.
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