Buhari posts ex-service chiefs as Nigerian ambassadors to Cameroon, Benin

Buratai and Olonisakin were confirmed as ambassadors in February, weeks after retirement.

Retired ex-Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai (left), with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama (right) [Ministry of Foreign Affairs]

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the posting of two former service chiefs as ambassadors to neighbouring African countries.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, presented letters of credence to the retired ex-Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, and retired ex-Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin in Abuja on Tuesday, June 22, 2021.

Buratai was posted as the Ambassador-Designate of Nigeria to the Republic of Benin, while Olonisakin was posted as the Ambassador-Designate of Nigeria to the Republic of Cameroon.

Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had in February advised President Buhari to deploy the former service chiefs to neighbouring countries battling security issues in collaboration with Nigeria.

Buratai and Olonisakin were confirmed as ambassadors-designate alongside other former service chiefs Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas (Chief of Naval Staff), and Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Chief of Air Staff) who were retired by the president in January.

The appointment of the four was met with widespread outrage, especially in light of the performance issues that trailed their long periods of service.

Buhari had extended their years in office after the natural expiry of their service, a decision that repeatedly displeased many especially in the face of worsening insecurity across the country.

Two petitions were submitted against the nominees during their Senate confirmation hearing, but the petitions were dismissed by lawmakers.

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