Face your job or resign, FG tells ambassadors


Apparently not happy with the
manner various diplomatic
missions serving in the country
flout rules guiding diplomatic
engagement globally, the Federal
Government on Friday in Abuja
summoned all serving ambassadors
in Nigeria, reading riot act to them
to strictly face their diplomatic
activities or leave from the
country.
Also, foreigners, who engage in
crude oil theft, would no longer be
spared as the Nigerian government
has directed the Navy and Nigerian
Maritime Administration and Safety
Agency (NIMASA) to take
adequate measures against any
ship caught engaging in
unwholesome activities.
Nigeria is said to be losing
400,000 barrels of oil at
N7.35billion daily to the activities
of criminals in the oil sector.
Foreign Affairs Minister,
Ambassador Olugbenga Ashiru,
handed the warnings while briefing
the heads of mission in the
country, saying that “government
will not hesitate to identify and
deal with erring missions which
fail to respect Nigeria’s sensitivities
and sovereignty.”
“There are activities being done by
ambassadors which are not within
the term of their mission. For
instance, here in Nigeria, human
rights groups are very strong and
vocal which is good for democracy
because these are the institutions
that will sustain democracy for us.
And we also know that foreign
missions have been supporting
those human rights groups in
funding, etc. It is okay. But we
object when ambassadors conduct
activities that are incompatible
with their status. If any
ambassador wants to now join the
human rights groups, he may as
well resign the office to join the
human rights groups, but you
cannot use the diplomatic passport
of being an envoy to engage in
this,” he stated.
Ashiru stressed: “This will be
incompatible with their status as
ambassadors. But those activities,
some of our ambassadors here are
doing it and I wonder at times
whether they have passed through
the necessary training; I wonder if
they have passed through the
training because the Vienna
Convention as I have said, states
clearly the activities that are
incompatible with your functions
as a diplomatic agent, as an envoy.
“Therefore ambassadors should
please confine themselves to their
traditional duties. If you feel
strongly about any issue and you
come to the foreign office, I will
receive you. No ambassador will
say he wants to see me and I will
refuse to see him. So when there
are things you want to take up
with government, you come
directly to the foreign office.
But for you to go to the media and
start talking is incompatible with
the status of your office and you
all know this,” he warned.
On oil theft, he said that gone
were the days when ships and
crew were released after pleas
from foreign missions.
Source :#DailyIndependent

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