The presidency says the appointment of former military commanders as non-career ambassadors is reward for job well done.
President Muhammadu Buhari had last week pressured service chiefs to step down and immediately announced their replacement. This was after being pressured for years to rejig the security architecture to tackle worsening insecurity.
Days after the security chiefs left office, petitions against them flooded the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Concerned Nigerians, a civil society organization that also submitted the petitions said they are calling for the probe and prosecution of Tukur Buratai ex-Chief of Army Staff, for alleged crime against humanity and human rights violations while he held sway.
But in a move aimed at shielding the ex-military chiefs from being investigated by the Hague-based court Mr Buhari wrote the Nigerian Senate urging it to confirm the nominations of his appointees, an action that will confer diplomatic immunity on them.
In its reaction, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) advised the Nigerian Senate to take side with Nigerians by rejecting the nominations, an advise TODAY POLITICS gathered won’t be adhered to.
Berating the former ruling party, presidential spokesman Garba Shehu in a Saturday statement said by kicking against the appointments, the PDP was doing the work of Boko Haram terrorists.
“The President is rewarding hard work and exceptional sacrifice by a set of military leaders who gave their best to the nation and will be remembered, sooner than later, for their contributions to the security and survival of Nigeria as one nation,” he said.
“They should be allowed to move to the next level. This is so that their examples will help to inspire others if given the opportunity to serve and this transition is normal in decent democratic societies.
“How on earth can decent people run down hardworking professionals who have put in their best to defend their country? How can you run down your country and equate that with normal political dialogue and opposition?
“What is baffling about this false and baseless assertion is that this is coming, not from Boko Haram terrorists who the military kept largely in check and confined to a known section of the country, Sambisa, but from a so-called leading opposition party that fraudulently kept power for 16 years and is nursing the hope of one day returning to office as an elected government.
“What is more, under these corrupt politicians the insurgency conquered large swathes of territory-18 Local Government Areas.
“Pray, if a political party, in a blind search for power can spurn the interest of the nation, embrace the language of hate campaign against the country’s military as enunciated by the terrorists, as the PDP does, what will be left for the Boko Haram to do? PDP is doing Boko Haram’s work!” he added.