HURIWA Backs Buhari Over Nomination Of Ex-Service Chiefs As Non-career Ambassadors

Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) on Sunday faulted those questioning nomination of the immediate past Service Chiefs as non-career ambassadors.

President Muhammadu Buhari last week nominated the ex-Service Chiefs for Senate approval as non-career ambassadors.

HURIWA supported Buhari’s action and said he has the right under the law to nominate anybody to that position.

Many Nigerians, especially lawyers criticised their nomination, saying the move may have been to shield them from prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for atrocities and rights abuses committed by the Nigerian military under their watch.

There have been calls since their retirement for the prosecution of especially, Buratai who led the Nigerian Army for about five and a half years.

They include former Chief of Defence Staff, Gabriel Olonisakin; former Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai; former Chief of Air Staff, Ibok Ibas; and former Chief of Naval Staff, Abubakar Sadique.

Their nominations came a week after they resigned from service and their replacements took over.

Briefing reporters in Abuja on the development, National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the former Service Chiefs are capable, well exposed and are professionals.

Onwubiko said those reading meaning into Buhari’s nomination should have a rethink, adding that nobody or institution have invited the former Service chiefs for any allegation on corrupt practices.

He advised the new Service Chiefs to prioritize human rights and consolidate the already existing internal structure for human rights promotion.

His words: “President Muhammadu Buhari has the right to appoint the ex-Service Chiefs as non-career ambassadors. I don’t know while people are reading meaning into this.

“They are capable. They are well exposed and they are professionals. They have traveled wide and they are fit for the job. Nobody or institution has invited them or indicted them for any corrupt allegation.

“This is happening maybe because many public office holders have lost the trust of Nigerians. Let’s move forward in this country”.

On human rights, Onwubiko said: “Unequivocally, the allegations of human rights abuses against the Nigerian Army, particularly in the conduct of counter-insurgency operation were issues of great concern to TY Buratai, who ensured that various actions where taken to guarantee that rights violations by Nigerian Army personnel are fully curtailed.

“Remarkably, before Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf (Rtd) left office early this month, there was a serious reduction in the reported cases or accusations of human rights violations against the Nigerian Army. No wonder he was recently appointed Ambassador-Designate by President Muhammadu Buhari”.

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