A non-political, pro-democracy platform, African Centre for Leadership and Good Governance (ACLG) has expressed its support for the nomination of the immediate-past military Service Chiefs as non- career ambassadors by President Muhammadu Buhari, stating that the action of the president was in order.
The group noted further that the president exercised his presidential prerogative, and has not breached the law or the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In a statement signed and made available to newsmen yesterday in Lagos by the ACLG Executive Director, Dr. Chindo Nkweke, and Executive Research Assistant, Hassan Bature Muhammed, the group insisted that the National Assembly is under obligation to consider the nominations on the basis of merit, qualification and capacities, and “that the onus now falls on the Senate to use its screening and approval processes in tandem with the law of the country, to favour these men of tested loyalty and professionalism.”
The statement said the nominations are a reward for hard work and exceptional sacrifices and a service to the Nigeria, adding: “The past service chiefs are really worthy ambassadors, who deserve to be honored with the service of further pushing the country forward in foreign relations and international diplomacy.
“We reiterate that their services will be required in global security challenge and counter-insurgency matters across the globe, particularly the Sub-Saharan region, while also bringing their wealth of experience to bear in assisting the country in its insurgency war with Boko Haram/ISWAP terrorists. We, at ACLG, therefore, call on the Senate that General Yusuf Buratai (rtd) and other former service chiefs should ‘take a bow and go’.”
Nkweke and Muhammed in the statement also noted that there was no justification for the uproar and criticisms from the section of the country particularly “when these service chiefs who have distinguished themselves in decimating the Boko Haram insurgents into small pockets, and that the country stands to gain global acceptance and mileage as the nominees are seen globally as men of impeccable character, bravery and professional successes.
These men are ready to give their lives for the unity, peace and stability of the continent.”
ACLG, which described itself as champion and propagator of transparency, good governance accountability and leadership in Africa, stated that the nomination and confirmation of the service chiefs by the Senate would be a morale booster for the newly appointed military service chiefs, including men and officers of the Armed Forces, “who will renew their commitment to the fight against insurgency, knowing the benefits that accrues to loyalty and patriotism.
“The alleged orchestrations by individuals, fifth columnists and international organisations to launch a smear campaign and cast aspersions on the reputation of the past service chiefs should stop forthwith, and they should not allow themselves to be used against patriotic Nigerians who have served the country meritoriously, and who will continue to serve in higher capacities.