Still on Ambassadorial Appointments of Career Diplomats
By Shittu Yunus Shittu
Much ado about Nigeria’s Ambassador-Designates has been on Social Media and the Press. This is obviously the handiwork of disgruntled elements or vested interest seeking to discredit the Foreign Service as well as the President of Nigeria on every appointment he makes. In this particular instance, the recent appointment of career service diplomats, many of whom are currently out at posts representing the country as Charge d’ Affairs in some of Nigeria’s Embassies abroad.
From the noise made about the appointment of Regina Ingekem Ocheni and IA Yusuf as Ambassadors Designate, to that of Mrs. Atinuke Mohammed a respectable married woman with grown up children, it is clear that the sponsor (s) of the recently published articles on the recently appointed Consul-General and Ambassadors-Designate wishes to deride the Foreign Service as a profession. The Foreign Service is the engine room that projects Nigeria’s foreign policy drive. More pathetic is the attempt to fragment the Service along diplomatic and intelligence lines. This is so sad, especially as the foreign service is essentially an integral part of National security.
Information available, indicates that Nigeria’s Foreign Service is going through a phase of transition with brilliant Foreign Service Officers who entered the service in the late 90’s and early part of 2000’s now being positioned to take over the leadership structure of the country’s foreign service and drive its Foreign policy dynamics.
As a consequence of the above, it is no surprise, that we have Officers who have served just a little bit above twenty years plus, not only heading various departments and units in the Foreign Service, but now being prepared for appointments to represent Nigeria as Consul-Generals and ambassadors designate in foreign lands.
In my humble opinion, if anything, the management of our foreign service, should be given kudos and encouraged for positioning not only career diplomats who still have many years in the Civil Service as ambassadors and Consul-Designate, they should be commended as such actions are bound to bring vigor in projecting Nigeria’s foreign policy and establishing its objectives.
I therefore would want to end on this note, referring to the words of former US President, Late George H.W Bush: “Even though I am a tranquil guy now at this stage of my life, I have nothing but contempt and anger for those who betray the trust by exposing the identity of our sources (our men and women in the diplomatic circle, who are working day and night to project Nigeria’s image abroad). They are, in my view the most insidious of traitors’’.
Shittu Yunus Shittu
An Associate Editor, Emergency Digest Abuja