Garba Shehu, a media aide to president Muhammadu Buhari, says the nomination of ex-service chiefs as non-career ambassadors-designate is ‘reward for hard work’ and sacrifice.
President Muhammadu Buhari had stirred controversy across the nation when he sent their names to the senate for confirmation.
A cross-section of the country, including the opposition party, he Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had criticised the move, accusing Mr. Buhari of trying “to shield the immediate past service chiefs from investigation over alleged killing of innocent Nigerians and crimes against humanity”.
But defending their nomination, Shehu said the ex-service chiefs were nominated as a reward for their hard work and sacrifice, noting that the transition is “normal in decent democratic societies” and asked the PDP to stop defaming the former service chiefs.
He said, “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.
“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!”
However, majority of Nigerians don’t share the view of the presidency. To them, the immediate past service chiefs performed poorly, especially in the war against Boko Haram.