Nigerians react differently as Buhari appoints former COAS Buratai ambassador to Benin Republic

June 23, 2021
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Nigerians have since the appointment of former Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Tuesday by President Muhammadu Buhari as ambassador-designate to the Republic of Benin, been reacting differently to the president’s decision. While some perceive the assigning of Buratai to Benin Republic as Nigeria’s ambassador as strategic for security checks, some others felt the former Chief of Army Staff was undervalued by the president.

The federal government had through the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, presented a provisional letter to the former Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai (rtd), as Nigeria’s ambassador-designate to the Benin Republic on Tuesday in Abuja.

A former Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin (rtd), was also appointed ambassador-designate of Nigeria to Cameroon.

Several Nigerians took to social media platforms not to endorse the appointment of the former service chiefs but to express their divided opinions about the decision of the president. Some were of the view that the assignment of the former Chief of Army Staff, Buratai, was strategic, noting that the president might have been conscious that Cotonou and the environs provide escape routes for critics of the government. They noted that the assignment of the former COAS may be to check the leakages of such escape routes through the neighbouring West African country.

Some others were of the view that the president may have ‘valued’ the former service chief less and probably did not consider him eminent for a bigger country.

Ridiculous as these views, among others, may sound, the president has made the required decisions on the allocation of portfolios to the nominated ambassadors designated as non-career ambassadors.

There were uproars when the president made the nominations after their retirement from military service; there were populist demands on the Senate to reject the nominations. The Senate, however, confirmed the nominations on February 23, 2021.

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