By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Strongly believing that Nigeria stands to gain global mileage by the appointments of immediate past service chiefs as Nigerian Ambassadors as made by President Muhammadu Buhari, a Civil Rights Body-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has asked the National Assembly to confirm the appointments.
The Rights group said the criticisms from some few vocal persons were misplaced and substantially grounded on hear-say, speculation and rumours lacking empirical evidence just as the Rights group said the National Assembly must not enlist in the assembly of the radical mobs who are opposing these well thought out appointments by the President but should demonstrate patriotism by confirming the nominations of ex-service chiefs as Nigeria’s representatives in foreign jurisdictions.
Also, President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to be a patriot and statesman by building National strategic infrastructures such as Railways, Bridges, Roads and other assets within the Federal Republic of Nigeria with Nigerian public fund rather than fritter and waste callously public resources of Nigeria on building Railway lines to Maradi in Niger Republic. The group faulted president Buhari’s futile effort to justify this illegal expenditure of over a billion United states dollars to build railway lines to Niger Republic when the entire South East of Nigeria and the major parts of the Niger Delta regions have no functional railways. In any case, the Rights group said the President is committing illegality by deploying borrowed funds to set up infrastructures in another Country but will force Nigeria to repay the loan from China which was never spent to the benefits of Nigeria.
On the need for the National Assembly to quicken the process of confirmation of the newly appointed envoys, HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) said since there is no extant law stopping the immediate past security chiefs from being posted out as envoys soon after their disengagement, there is absolutely no Justification for the criticisms of their selection by President Buhari.
In the letter dated February 9th 2021, and endorsed by both the National Coordinator Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director Miss Zainab Yusuf, The Rights group said if the nominations are not confirmed, it would dampen the morale of servicemen who would now believe that there is no need for them to be absolutely loyal to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Rights group addressed the letter to the leadership of the National legislature.
Excerpts from the letter sent to Senator Ahmed Lawan, the Senate President, his deputy, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila and his deputy reads thus:
“On behalf of our teeming members numbering over eight thousand fees’ paying and dedicated registered members in Nigeria, and thousands of online members and affiliates of all Nations on earth, we write the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the Federal House of Representatives this short letter of our endorsement of the immediate past service Chiefs as Nigerian Ambassadors as made in the discretionary powers of the head of the Executive Arm of government of Nigeria, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari(GCFR).
As adumbrated by some scholars of international diplomacy, it is a truism that the 21st century has paved the way for greater connection, communication, and trade on a global scale. With a greater connection worldwide, the need for effective, progressive diplomatic relations between countries is of the utmost importance. Specifically, effective ambassadors are needed to promote international relations, trade, and foreign policy. It is therefore in the light of the above facts universally acknowledged that the Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari had nominated immediate past service chiefs of the country as ambassadors.
Specifically, in a media release few days back, we learnt that President Muhammadu Buhari had forwarded the names of the immediate past Service Chiefs to the Senate as non-career Ambassadors-Designate,” presidential aide Bashir Ahmad disclosed in a tweet.
The ambassador-designates are retired Defense Chief Abayomi Olonisakin, former Army Chief Tukur Buratai, former Navy Chief Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas and former Air Chief Sadique Abubakar. Their nomination is subject to confirmation by the National Assembly.
The former service chief’s nomination comes nine days after Buhari replaced them – having spearheaded the country’s security agencies for over five years.
Buhari appointed Chief Maj Gen LEO Irabor to replace Olonisakin in Defense, Maj Gen I Attahiru replace Buratai in the Army, Rear Adm AZ Gambo replaced Ekwe Ibas in Navy and AVM IO Alao replaced Abubakar to lead the Nigeria Air Force.
As a sign of growing acceptance of the exercise of the democratic Freedoms, some critics with connection and access to the popular media had rated the former service chiefs low in the state of security in Nigeria, but the man with the authority to appoint service Chiefs President Muhammadu Buhari said they had an “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country.” We in the organised civil society community in Nigeria and particularly in the HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA HURIWA and over 36 affiliate registered credible groups, we believe that the service chiefs dedicated over 4 decades of their highly productive and professional lives in the services of humanity and Nigeria our fatherland.
Also, recall that the President congratulates the new Service Chiefs, and urges them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities, presidential spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement announcing the appointment of the new service chiefs.
Our letter is to urge you to expeditiously approve and confirm these noble nominations so as to pass the message that 100 PERCEBT LOYALTY TO NIGERIA PAYS BECAUSE THESE GENERALS ARE SOME OF THE FUNEST PROFESSIONALS IN AFRICA.
As is universally acknowledged and published in learned journals of diplomacy and international relations, Ambassadors act as the diplomatic representatives of their country abroad.
For instance, a media publication emphatically stated that in the United States, ambassadors are appointed to represent the office of the President in foreign nations. The title comes with a number of duties and responsibilities, including conducting foreign relations, crafting international policies, spearheading negotiations, and aligning on economic conditions such as trade.
With such a wide range of skills required to become an ambassador, it can be challenging to understand how to stand out.
Sir, kindly note the following expert opinion referencing the combined experience and expertise of three former ambassadors now serving as members of Northeastern’s faculty, who in their capacities as scholars had compiled some steps, tips, and industry insights to help any aspiring ambassador achieve success on a global scale. These qualities are amongst a few others (1). Earn a relevant bachelor’s degree.
That University publication in the USA noted that although the U.S. State Department does not list specific educational requirements for aspiring ambassadors, earning a bachelor’s degree can go a long way in landing a role in this field. In fact, education at this level has become a requirement across industries today, and can increase your chances of making it into further rounds of consideration during job applications. Judging by this line of thinking, it is not in doubt that as some of the most vastly educated Nigerian Professionals, these retired Officers are top rated citizens competent to represent Nigeria. These criticisms against the nominations are misplaced because even in the USA, President Donald Trump the 45th President of the United States of America appointed the backers and funders of his campaigns as AMBASSADORS but in Nigeria, the President appointed top rated military Generals who served Nigeria meritoriously.
Specifically, The Guardian of London reported that Donald Trump had gifted a record proportion of ambassadorial posts to political appointees, rewarding wealthy supporters with minimal experience at the expense of career diplomats, according to the latest figures.
About 44% of US ambassadors nominated by Trump have been political appointees, compared with a historical average of about 30%, according to the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA). That percentage is getting higher. Out of the ambassador nominations so far this year, 57% have gone to political appointees.
The dramatic increase of top posts being given to wealthy entrepreneurs like Lana Marks – a handbag designer made US ambassador to South Africa last year – could violate the law, which requires most ambassadorial posts to go to state department diplomats, and for ambassadors to have relevant experience.
Brett Bruen, a former US diplomat and former head of global engagement in the White House, said the number of ambassadorial openings for career diplomats was even smaller in the list of job openings being circulated this summer.
Americans were never known to have protested.
We wish to call your attention to some salient facts adumbrated in a book on management as follows: “Our feelings toward power, then range from attraction (to being strong and potent) to repulsion (out of fear of abuse and of despotism). Remember that we’re focusing on our feelings, not a rational analysis of what power is and is not. Because power can instill both reactions, there is a natural tension to our feelings about it, like the tension in a rubber band being pulled apart (although we are the rubber band being stretched!).People experience other deep psychological tensions as well. One is the impulse toward altruism versus the impulse toward self-gratification. Altruism simply means concern for others. Humans are social beings and act out of concern for the greater good on a regular basis. At the same time, we all want to take care of ourselves, to act at times in ways that are not best for society or a particular group-cutting ahead in the line to exit a turnpike, for example. Yet as individuals we’re able to hold on to the knowledge that if everyone cut in line, anarchy and chaos would rule. We somehow learn to manage that tension.” “Some people, in the face of such tension, attempt to deal with it simply by slipping the metaphorical rubber band off one of their fingers. Thus one person chooses a life of selfless service to the poor, while another (likely without any conscious deliberation at all) chooses to become wholly selfish in his or her approach to life, taking care of number one. Still another lives life as a kind of Peter Pan, never acknowledging responsibility to anyone else, while his or her neighbor becomes a “young fogy”. (The 12 Bad Habits that Hold Good People Back by James Waldroop, PH.D. and Timothy Butler, PH.D).”
We therefore state without any fear of contradictions that these men nominated as AMBASSADORS after serving in the military for 40 years are qualified to be so appointed. We so move.”