Posted by News Express | 1 January 2020 | 1,200 times
The confirmation was sequel to resistant by the affected diplomats who said the December 31, 2019, notice to them was “too sudden.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had written to the envoys in November, directing that they return to Nigeria on or before December 31. He also reminded them of the December 2018 retirement date which was extended by President Muhammadu Buhari. But the ambassadors and heads of missions had sought for an extension of two to three months in order to complete some diplomatic formalities before their disengagement.
The envoys said they needed time to wind down, pack their baggage, and pay farewell visits to their host presidents in line with diplomatic procedures.
Responding to inquiry on the status of the ambassadors and heads of missions yesterday, spokesperson for the ministry, Ferdinand Nwonye, said there was no issue over the recall.
Nwonye, in a previous statement said the call for an extension by the ambassadors and heads of missions was selfish, saying the letter directing the diplomats automatically disengaged them.
Nwonye said as a follow-up to the initial letter, a telegram was equally dispatched, directing them to handover to the most senior officers in their respective embassies and missions.
“They should have been disengaged by now. When officers, including ambassadors are recalled, they have to leave. They can decide from there to go elsewhere. But they should surely disengage from the mission.
“They cannot remain. There is even another telegram that instructed that the most senior foreign service officer should take over from them,” he said. (The Sun)
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