The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has rejected what it termed a ‘plot’ by President Buhari Muhammadu to use the decoy of ambassadorial appointments to “shield the immediate past service chiefs from the investigation over alleged killing of innocent Nigerians and crimes against humanity” while in office.
The opposition party, therefore, charged the Senate to eschew all partisan considerations and stand on the side of the people, particularly the victims of the regime of the ex-service chiefs by rejecting the demand by the president to confirm them as non-career ambassadors.
In a statement, Kola Ologbondiyan, the PDP national publicity secretary, described the action as a horrible assault on the sensibility of Nigerians. The PDP said the APC government was seeking to use ambassadorial appointments as a desperate measure to secure diplomatic immunity for the former service chiefs.
He also alluded to the fact that the move was to protect them from the investigation, arrest and possible prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the atrocities committed against innocent Nigerians under their command.#
Ologbondiyan asserted that appointing the former service chiefs non-career ambassadors would not just confer diplomatic immunity on them but also provide them a route for escape.
“The party further states that taking such actions at a time the ICC has declared its readiness to commence full investigation on their alleged involvement in the crime against humanity in our country, appears to further validate the allegations against them.
“Moreover, the frenzy by officials of the Buhari Presidency in mounting pressure on the Senate to confirm such abominable ambassadorial nominations has further raised public apprehensions of a desperate attempt to cover the culpability of some other individuals connected to the APC administration.
“It is shocking that instead of allowing the former service chiefs to answer for the alleged crime against humanity under their command, including reported cases of extra-judicial execution, killing of unarmed protesters at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos, rape, illegal arrest as well as detention and torture of innocent Nigerians, the APC administration is rather plotting their escape.
“The accused service chiefs must not be allowed to use diplomatic immunity to escape investigation and possible prosecution for the killing of unarmed protesters, including hundreds of civilians reportedly killed by soldiers in the Zaria massacre.
“This is in addition to series of reported military invasions and the mass shooting in communities in Borno, Yobe, Rivers, Abia, Anambra among other states across the six geo-political zones of our country, where soldiers reportedly razed communities and massacred unarmed civilians under the command of the ex-service chiefs.
“Our party, therefore, calls on Nigerians, across the board, to unite in rejecting these ambassadorial nominations for the accused former commanders and demand that President Buhari should immediately withdraw their nominations from the Senate,” the PDP said in the statement.