BY BODE GBADEBO, Abuja
A former deputy national publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Comrade Timi Frank, has urged the Senate to decline confirmation of the immediate past Service Chiefs as Ambassadors.
The ambassadorial nominees whose names were forwarded to the Senate for confirmation by President Muhammadu Buhari are Gen Abayomi 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).
But Frank in a statement he personally signed on Sunday, said that the Senate would be going against its many resolutions when it passed vote of no confidence on the former Military Chiefs over incompetence.
According to him, the confirmation of the ex-commanders would amount to both chambers of the National Assembly returning to their vomit.
He listed occasions when the Senate and the House of Representatives had expressly urged President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the ex-military commanders over lack of capacity, incompetence and failure to stem the tide of insecurity in the country to include:
“The attack by army personnel on residents of Naka in Gwer-West Local Government Area of Benue State and the beheading of 67 rice farmers by Boko Haram insurgents in Zabarmari community in Jere Local Government Area of Borno State.
“Senate’s resolution on a motion sponsored by the Senate Majority Leader, Senator Yahaya Abudullahi, titled: “Nigerian Security Challenges: Urgent Need To Restructure, Review And Reorganize The Current Security Architecture.
“The minority caucus in the House of Representatives again called for the sack of the service chiefs in its reaction to the attack on the convoy of the Governor of Borno State, Baba Gana Zulum, by suspected Boko Haram terrorists, on July 31, 2020,” he pointed out.
He noted that prominent groups in the country including the Pan-Yoruba Socio-Political Group, Afenifere, Coalition of Northern Elders for Peace and Development, apex Igbo socio-cultural organisation, Ohanaeze Ndi’Igbo and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have at various times called or supported calls for the sack of the Service Chiefs over their failure to secure the country – humongous annual defence budgets notwithstanding.
Frank also recalled how President Buhari had passed a vote of no confidence on the ex-military commanders when he told them that their “best was not good enough.”
The Bayelsa-born political activist wondered whose interest the Senate would be serving by confirming the ‘failed generals’ as ambassadors in the face of widespread doubt over their competence, capacity and capabilities when they held sway.
He alleged that there is a plot to induce each Senator with $100,000.00 each to ensure that the controversial nominees were confirmed even as he urged the lawmakers to reject such anti-people’s plot.
He said that Nigerians are watching to see how the Senate, especially its opposition lawmakers, will betray the confidence reposed in them by Nigerians by allowing this potentially egregious confirmation of the ex-military commanders to sail through.
“We have it on good authority that they have earmarked funds to the tune of $100,000.00 each per Senator to have their way but the Senators need to show patriotism by rejecting the money and the nominees in the national interest and as true representatives of the people,” he declared.