Tuggar Yusuf | File Photo
.Reject eviction notice, insist on payment of entitlement
By Nweze Anaga,
The crisis rocking Nigeria’s foreign mission may not end soon, as the ambassadors have dared the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Tuggar Yusuf, for ordering their eviction and replacement with junior diplomats.
They informed the minister that they would only leave when their entitlement and passages were paid by the ministry.
In a statement issued by the Special Assistant to the Dean Non-Career Ambassadors, Mr. Iduma Chris Mayor, the ambassadors and high commissioners vowed to resist any attempts by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to embarrass them through the deployment of junior officers.
They stated: “In a startling turn of events, Nigeria’s ambassadors and high commissioners currently stationed abroad are facing eviction from their residences and offices following a directive issued by the Minister of Foreign Affairs. The directive, encapsulated in Circular No. S. 124, dated 03/11/2023, and signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Adamu I. Lamuwa, has sent shockwaves through the diplomatic community.
“What’s more, the disconcerting aspect of this order is that the Ministry is yet to reimburse the diplomats for their return passages, a critical element of the ongoing dispute.
“The diplomats have wasted no time in responding to this perceived affront to their rights and professional dignity. In a collective show of defiance, the ambassadors and high commissioners have pledged to resist any attempts by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to embarrass them through the deployment of junior officers, potentially compromising the reputation of Nigeria on the international stage.”
The ambassadors further pointed out that the standard practice states: “Until the Ministry financially backs the return passages for foreign service officers whose tours of duty have concluded, these officers are entitled to continue enjoying the privileges associated with their diplomatic posts.”
They also disclosed that the practice was not unique to Nigeria, stressing, “It is a globally recognized norm.”
They added that the crisis underscores concerns not only regarding the treatment of Nigeria’s dedicated diplomats but also the potential breach of established regulations governing their assignments.
According to the envoys, for five consecutive months, they have not received their allocations for missions which has left them in the challenging position of having to use their personal savings to manage their respective missions and embassies.