Compensating the Ex-Service Chiefs as Ambassadors

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President Muhammadu Buhari has just nominated the ex-Service Chiefs for Senate approval, as non-career Ambassadors-Designate. They are Gen Abayomi Olonisakin (Rtd), Lt Gen Tukur Buratai (Rtd), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (Rtd), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Rtd) and Air Vice Marshal Mohammed S. Usman (Rtd).

President Buhari had earlier congratulated the former Service Chiefs for their “efforts” towards “enduring peace to the country.” Most Nigerians had laughed; nay guffawed. I was one of them. Which peace? Genuine peace, or peace of the graveyard?

The former Service Chiefs had been appointed by President Buhari in 2015. In spite of the stringent clamour for the President to replace them with better products, he demurred. They had served for 36 to 40 years, despite the Civil Service Rules which provide for 60 years of age or 35 years service period before retirement.

It is okay for Buhari to give jobs to the “boys” not minding their dismal performance, which actually saw insecurity, armed banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, herdsmen menace and other vicious crimes increase geometrically, during their tenure. After all, it is the President’s right and prerogative to rehabilitate them. It is also his right under Section 171 of the 1999 Constitution, which empowers him to appoint persons of his choice as Ambassadors or High Commissioners. So, ‘nothing spoil’! But, Mr President Sir, do Nigerians one favour: post these retired (hopefully not tired) men to sensitive neighbouring countries that share common borders with beleaguered Nigeria.

I have in mind countries like Chad, Niger Republic, Cameroun and Benin Republic, that share borders with Nigeria. Also in mind are Equatorial Guinea, Ghana and Sao Tome and Principe, that share maritime borders with Nigeria. In these countries, our ex-service men will be able to display their usual talismanic abracadabra “gallantry” that helped them “defeat” Boko Haram “technically” for five years; though never physically, mentally, psychologically, psychically and spiritually. Ha, Nigeria, we hail thee!

THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK

“Illegality will never solve the problem of political lawlessness”. (Emanuel Celler)