Nigerians on social have expressed shock that the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), rewarded the immediate past service chiefs with ambassadorial appointments despite the funds unaccounted for under their leadership.
The PUNCH had earlier reported that the National Security Adviser to the President, Maj.-Gen Babagana Monguno (retd.), said some funds meant for the purchase of arms to strengthen the country’s anti-terror war got missing under the leadership of the ex-service chiefs.
The ex-service chiefs are Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin (retd.); Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai (retd.); Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas (retd.); and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar (retd.).
“No one knows what happened to the money but by God’s grace, the president will investigate to find out whether the money was spent and where the arms went,” the NSA had said in an interview with BBC Hausa on Friday.
Many Nigerians on social have since lampooned the President, who posed his anti-corruption fight as one of the major agenda of his regime. They also said it was astonishing that the President has not sent the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to go after the former military chiefs.
A Twitter user, @asksasi1, said the NSA has no reason to complain as “the ex-service chiefs have been rewarded with diplomatic appointments for a job well done.”
“Buy another set of weapons since the war is a looting excuse,” the user urged the NSA.
With the failure of ex-service chiefs and their looting in billions, Buhari still rewarded their criminality with ambassadorial positions!” another user, @EjioforOnyishi, expressed shock.
A Facebook user, Boniface Joseph, was also horrified that the President rewarded the ex-service chiefs despite the missing ‘billions’ meant for the procurement of arms.
“And they are now our ambassadors? If you have a hand in confirming these people for this ambassadorial positions, you all will suffer,” he wrote.
Another user, Olopade Gboye, mocked the anti-corruption fight of the Buhari regime. “And PMB who says he is fighting corruption hurriedly promoted them as diplomats?” he asked.
“This government just likes making itself a laughing stock. You removed them from office, appointed them ambassadors, our rubber-stamp Senate approved the appointments without letting them give account of their stewardship. Now the NSA alleges they misappropriated funds. This is the state of our nation,” another user simply identified as Atioro said.
However, some social media users have expressed doubt at the revelation of the NSA.
“It can never be true. Buratai is one of Buhari’s trusted aides and corruption is far from them. In fact the ex service chiefs were so pure to the extent of deserving ambassadorial appointments to launder the image of Nigeria in diaspora,” De Versailles wrote on Facebook.
“The NSA is only trying to destroy the good names of our brand new ambassador designates recently approved by the hardworking Senate,” a satirical @Busayo_Juyigbe tweeted.
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