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Senate Confirms Ex-Service Chiefs As Ambassadors

The Nigerian Senate has confirmed the immediate past service chiefs as ambassadors.

The former service chiefs include former Chief of Defence Staff, Abayomi Olonisakin; former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; former Chief of Naval Staff, Ibok-Ete Ibas, and former Chief of Air Staff, Sadique Abubakar.

Former intelligence chief, Mohammed S Usman, was also confirmed.

Their confirmation followed a report presented to the upper chamber for consideration by Chairman of the Foreign Affairs committee, Muhammed Bulkachuwa.

Presenting the report on Thursday, Bulkachuwa, a senator from Bauchi State, 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,” he 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.”

However minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe, drew the attention of the Senate to a petition against the former service chiefs.

He noted that the petition borders on the integrity of the red chamber.

“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,” the Abia senator said.

But Senate President Ahmad Lawan kicked against the argument, saying senators’ previous stance can’t nullify the nominations.

“The nomination cannot be nullified because we asked them to be changed,” Lawan said.

He subsequently put the nominations to a voice vote, which received support from a majority of senators, leading to their confirmation.

President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the former service chiefs as non-career ambassadors after they resigned their previous positions in January.

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