Ex-service chiefs’ nomination as envoys a reward for incompetence – Timi Frank
A former Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Timi Frank, on Friday, described President Muhammadu Buhari’s nomination of the immediate past service chiefs for ambassadorial positions as a reward for incompetence.
Buhari had on Thursday requested the Senate confirmation of the quintet of Lt. Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin (retd), Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (retd), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd), and Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman (retd) as non-career ambassadors.
Frank, who reacted to the development in a statement, said the action was an affront on Nigeria’s integrity, and an embarrassment to the country in the global stage.
He asked the Senate to disregard the nomination in the overall interest of the nation.
According to Frank, the nomination of the former service chiefs for the ambassadorial positions was “meant to dress them in diplomatic immunity and shield them from investigation and prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC).”
The statement read: “The nomination of these ex-service chiefs to represent Nigeria in foreign countries is an international embarrassment and a new low for the country’s image.
“The world has gone past the era where incompetent and sacked military chiefs can be considered fit and proper persons to represent a democratic country in the conduct of high-wired diplomatic business.
“Buhari has clearly got this wrong. He erroneously believes that his administration is a military junta.
“This nomination shows that it has become habitual for General Buhari to reward incompetence.
“Only recently, he appointed a new Chief of Army Staff who was sacked in 2017 by former ex-Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Buratai, for incompetence.
“How can men with such huge baggage of human rights abuses, administrative impropriety and history of failures be chosen to bring Nigeria’s political and economic laurel at home or at the international arena?
“Nigerians need to stand up against this anomaly. The damage will be colossal and we are all involved. The time to speak up is now!”
He also urged members of the international community, particularly the countries where the ex-service chiefs may be posted to as envoys, to reject them and vowed to mobilise Nigerians in the Diaspora to protest in countries of their primary assignment should the ex-military chiefs ever be posted as diplomats by Buhari.