By Uche Amunike
President Bola Tinubu has recalled both career and non-career Nigerian ambassadors from their duty posts, the world over, with an October 31 deadline to return to Abuja. He has however mandated that all of the country’s Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in Geneva and New York be exempted from this total recall, because of the United Nations General Assembly that is billed to take place later this month.
According to a statement signed and released by Presidential Spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, the president’s instructions became necessary after he carefully studied the present state of affairs at the Nigerian consulate offices and embassies all over the world. The statement clarified that the latest move was also at par with the President’s Renewed Hope agenda, as he is bent on ensuring that world class efficiency and quality would henceforth be a part of foreign and domestic service delivery to citizens, residents and prospective visitors as well. The president therefore, mandated that the recall of the affected Nigerian ambassadors would take effect immediately.
Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola had earlier been reported to be recalled, but the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, yesterday, confirmed that the federal government recalled every Nigerian ambassador from the country’s foreign missions.
He stated that the action affected both the career and non-career ambassadors, explaining that it was not a witch hunt. He communicated this, through his Special Adviser on Media, Al-Kashim Abdul-Kadir. Hear him: ‘Sequel to the inquiries on the letter recalling the Nigerian ambassador to the UK, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, has reaffirmed that all career ambassadors and non-career ambassadors have been recalled on the instructions of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Ambassadors as representatives of the country, serve at the behest of the president and it’s his prerogative to send or recall them from any country.’
The Nigerian ambassadors are expected to start concluding their affairs in their countries of deployment and officially take their leave of the host government in the next 60 days, in order to return to Nigeria by October 31, 2023, which is the deadline given by President Bola Tinubu. He thanked them for the services they have rendered in their capacities as representatives of the country in their hosts countries and assured that he was anticipating welcoming them in Abuja, when they return.
Recall that in July 2021, former President Muhammadu Buhari gave the approval of the posting of a total of 95 ambassadors, which included 42 non-career ones that had their nominations endorsed by the Senate in July 2020
According to a statement signed by the permanent secretary in the Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, the following directive was given: ‘The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the posting of ambassadors-designate to Nigerian Missions abroad. The list includes 43 career ambassadors and 52 non-career ambassadors. With this development, the process of requesting agreement from the prospective host countries has commenced. The ministry also wishes to inform that there will be an induction course for the ambassadors-designate and their spouses, which will hold on a date to be announced shortly to prepare and facilitate movement of the envoys to their respective missions.’