Minister threatens to sanction non-performing ambassadors

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By SundiataPOST, The acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Viola Onwuliri, has threatened to sanction any Nigerian ambassador found wanting in the discharge of their duties, particularly in cases involving Nigerians.

Onwuliri gave the warning at the presentation of letters of credence to ambassador-designates to France, Austria, Romania, Venezuela and Gabon.

She urged the newly ambassadors not to disappoint President and the confidence reposed in them by all Nigerians.

He said the ambassadors must be carriers of the present government’ “Transformation Agenda’’, which she said had rapid economic growth and advancement of the country as core pillar.

“There are many pillars to the transformation agenda but if you an ambassador, you are carrying the entire package because you be talking about petroleum, aviation, labour, terrorism, employment and more,’’ she said.

She called on the ambassadors to maintain the soaring profile of in the comity of nation and strive “to take it to the next level’’.

“You must work hard and read a lot, because when international face you, you cannot tell them you do not know what is happening in the agricultural sector,’’ she said.

Onwuliri urged the ambassadors to give priority to citizen diplomacy, addin the ministry frowned at cases where ambassadors would deliberately shun Nigerians in their host country.

“You must put you staff on notice they have been posted to take care of Nigerians in their host country; if Nigerians are not living there we have business having an embassy in country,’’ she said.

She also expressed delight the five newly ambassadors are career diplomats had spent more three decades in the ministry.

She expressed the confidence that they would bring their long years of diplomatic experience to the new .

The ambassadors are Mr Abel Ayoko (Austria, and concurrent accreditation to Slovakia Republic), Mr Okechukwu Muoh (Romania and Bulgaria) and Mr Hakeem Suleiman (France and the Principality of Monaco).

Others are Mr Rabiu Dangari (Venezuela and concurrent accreditation to Ecuador and Columbia) and Mr Bassey Archibong (Gabon), received their Letter of Credence in absentia.

Responding on behalf of his colleagues, Ayoko thanked Jonathan for the appointment and promised that they would not disappoint Nigerians.