Eighty-three newly appointed Nigerian ambassadors are stranded within the country quite five months after their appointments were confirmed by the Senate.
There are not any indications yet on once they are going to be posted out, consistent with an investigation conducted by the state.
The ambassadors-designate include career and non-career officers.
They have not even been inducted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, an action that normally precedes their posting by the Presidency.
Officials of the Foreign Affairs Ministry said only President Muhammadu Buhari can determine the fate of the ambassadors-designate.
The President had on May 12 and Dominion Day, 2020, written to the Senate to hunt the confirmation of 42 career ambassadors and 41 non-career ambassadors-designate respectively.
While the red chamber confirmed the career ambassadors on June 12, 2020, it cleared their non-career colleagues on July 22.
But it’s been a “waiting game” for the new Ambassadors who haven’t received any communication from the Presidency or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Investigation revealed divergent reasons on why most of the ambassadors-designate, especially non-career envoys, were stranded.
A source said Nigeria was awaiting “Agreemo” from the countries most of the ambassadors-designate are to be posted to.
Agreemo is “a memorandum from one nation to a different agreeing to the appointment of an envoy or envoy.”
A diplomat said: “It is sort of concurrence with the selection of ambassador-designate by a number country. Ideally, it shouldn’t take as long as five months, given our international goodwill.
“If the delay is about Agreemo, I hope we aren’t sliding towards a pariah status. quite 41 countries can’t be dragging on such a diplomatic response.
“The speed with which Agreemo is treated determines the mutual respect between Nigeria and people countries.”
Responding to an issue, the diplomat said: “There are often sabotage on the part of career diplomats in our various embassies who won’t submit Agreemo on time to host countries.
“These diplomats like better to call the shots in our embassies without ambassadors. So, they will sabotage the first return of Agreemo.
“This delay isn’t good for our image. There are sensitive bilateral and multilateral issues that civil servants at our embassies cannot handle.”
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Findings also revealed that the delay may need been caused by both poor bureaucracy and funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has led to “abysmally low revenue” from oil.
A highly-placed source said: “It is basically embarrassing. a number of us are trying to seek out out what’s wrong. those that should know are really within the dark.
“I am aware that there’s an excessive amount of lobbying for “juicy postings” by a number of these new ambassadors. an excessive amount of politics is interplaying, especially on the part of non-career ambassadors.
“I think about some extent within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Coordinating Minister Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama and a former Permanent Secretary were hostile and official transactions were at a standstill.
“They had tons of irreconcilable challenges and therefore the frosty situation was allowed to tug for a short time.
“It was recently that the Permanent Secretary was redeployed and sanity is returning to the system there.
“It may be a peculiar ministry where lobbying is more pronounced than the particular service. Cronyism is prevalent in our Foreign Service. Unfortunately, it’s not been addressed.
“I won’t be surprised if a number of the career ambassadors are secretly posted out by the ministry.
“Some officials I spoke with claimed that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is additionally cash strapped. Most of our embassies have challenges with funds. a number of the embassies are even indebted for a few services. you can’t deploy ambassadors without funds.
“I think with assent to the budget by the President, there should be an improvement. The COVID-19 pandemic affected returns from oil with consequences on all sectors.”
It was learned that the affected ambassadors are mounting pressure on officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A source within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “Actually, most of these ambassadors-designate are anxious. they need been calling the ministry and therefore the Presidency to seek out out what’s happening, with none success.
“Some of the career ambassadors are more worried as time goes, especially people who are left with few years in commission. Most of them are becoming agitated because the days are passing without them knowing their fate.
“The matter is becoming worse as they need not also been issued letters of posting or made to undergo the standard induction.
“The political or non-career ambassadors aren’t also comfortable, as they fear that that the fate that befell members of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, which was dissolved before it took off, could also befall them.
“Some of the non-career ambassadors have political aspirations in 2023 and that they believe they’ll lose call at their states. they might have hardly settled down in their host countries by the time politics will begin.
“They are during a dilemma on whether it’s worthwhile or not.”
When contacted, the spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ferdinand Nwonye, said the “posting of ambassadors-designate is at the discretion of the President of the country.”
None said: ”The Ambassadors are the representatives of the President within the countries they’re posted to. So their posting is at the discretion of the President who decides when and where to post them.”
He said, “the ministry only takes instruction on such issues but the buck lies with the Presidency.”
The career ambassadors affected are C.O. Nwachukwu (Abia); A. Kefas (Adamawa); R.U Brown (Akwa Ibom); G.A Odudigbo (Anambra); O.C Onowu (Anambra); Y.S. Suleiman (Bauchi); E.S. Agbana (Bayelsa); B.B.M. Okoyen (Bayelsa); G.M. Okoko (Benue); A.M. Garba (Borno); M.I. Bashir (Borno); M.O. Abam (Cross River); A.E. Allotey (Cross River); G. E. Edokpa (Edo); A. N. Madubuike (Enugu); Adamu Lamuwa (Gombe); Mr. Innocent A. Iwejuo (Imo); M. S. Abubakar (Jigawa); Y. A. Ahmed (Jigawa); S. D. Umar (Kaduna); A. Sule (Kano); G. Y. Hamza (Kano).
Others are: N. Rimi (Katsina); L. S. Ahmed-Remawa (Katsina); M. Manu (Kebbi); l. R. Ocheni (Kogi); l. A. Yusuf (Kogi); M. Abdulraheem (Kwara); W. A. Adedeji (Lagos); A. U. Ogah (Nasarawa); A. A. Musa (Niger); N. A. Kolo (Niger); S.O. Olaniyan (Ogun); A. R. Adejola (Ogun); O. E. Awe (Ondo); O. O. Aluko (Osun); I. A. Alatishe (Osun); V. A. Adeleke (Oyo); M. S. Adamu (Plateau); l. N. Charles (Rivers); Z M. lfu (Taraba); B. B. Hamman (Yobe).