Northern elders back Buhari on nomination of ex-service chiefs for ambassadorial positions

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The Northern Elders Forum, NEF on Thursday night defended  President Buhari’s decision to nominate the immediate past service chiefs for the position of non-career ambassadors.

The forum said it is the prerogative of Buhari to make nomination for the ambassadorial post and there is nothing wrong in nominating any citizen he deems fit for the post as long as the person is worthy of the office.

NEF’s Director of Publicity and Advocacy, Dr Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, stated this in a chat with Vanguard in Abuja.

Buhari shocked Nigerians on Thursday evening when he announced through his aide on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina,  the nomination of the  immediate service chiefs for ambassadorial positions weeks after their retirement the military.

The development has set tongues wagging and “sparked off” speculations from different quarters in the country.

While some people said  their nomination was to shield them from investigation for alleged crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court, ICC, others said it’s a move to send them away from the country in order not to plot a coup and overthrow the president.

But reacting to the development,  the NEF’s spokesman Hakeem Baba-Ahmed said, “It is the constitutional responsibility of the president to nominate people who he believes are deserving to represent the country, and that of the National Assembly to scrutinize the nominations and decide on them.

“What is important is to ensure that people who will be our representatives in other countries are persons with the highest personal and professional credentials and character.”

On the speculation that the nomination of the ex-service chiefs was to provide them with diplomatic immunity, Baba-Ahmed said: “We would not put much value on speculations that the appointments are to shield them from international laws. These laws apply to people in or out of office.”

The immediate past service chiefs are: Gen Abayomi G. Olonisakin (retd ), Lt Gen Tukur Y. Buratai (retd), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (retd), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd), and Air Vice Marshal Mohammed S. Usman (retd).

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