President Muhammadu Buhari had, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, announced General Abayomi Olonisakin (Rtd), Lt. General Tukur Buratai (Rtd), Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas (Rtd), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (Rtd), and Air Vice Marshal Mohammed Usman (Rtd), as envoys.
However, Frank, in a statement in Abuja, said Buhari’s action was tantamount to rewarding incompetence at the expense of the nation’s global image and perception.
He added that “their nominations as envoys by Buhari is meant to dress them in diplomatic immunity in order to shield them from investigation and prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) already probing the varied atrocities and crimes against humanity, the ex-Service Chiefs may have individually or collectively perpetrated while in office.”
The Bayelsa-born political activist noted that “the #LekkiMassacre during the #EndSARSs protests, where scores of innocent Nigerian youths who were protesting peacefully against police brutality were shot and killed by soldiers, is of recent memory.”
He appealed to the Senate, “to put national interest and pride first by rejecting the nominees.”
He also called on “members of the international community, particularly the countries where the ex-Service Chiefs may be posted to as envoys to reject them.”
Frank also vowed to mobilise Nigerians in the diaspora to stage protests in countries of their primary assignment should the ex-Service Chiefs ever be posted as diplomats by Buhari.
According to him: “The nomination of these ex-Service Chiefs to represent Nigeria in foreign countries is an international embarrassment and a new low for the country’s image.
“The world has gone past the era where incompetent and sacked military chiefs can be considered fit and proper persons to represent a democratic country in the conduct of high-wired diplomatic business.
“Buhari has clearly got this wrong. He erroneously believes that his administration is a military junta.
“This nomination shows that it has become habitual for Buhari to reward incompetence. Only recently, he appointed a new Chief of Army Staff who was sacked in 2017 by former ex-Chief of Army Staff, General Buratai, for incompetence.
“How can men with such huge baggage of human rights abuses, administrative impropriety and history of failures be chosen to bring Nigeria political and economic laurel at home or at the international arena?
“Nigerians need to stand up against this anomaly. The damage will be colossal and we are all involved. The time to speak up is now!”