ABUJA – The Nigerian High Commissioner to Singapore, Mrs Nonye Rajis-Okpara, yesterday cautioned against turning President Muhammadu Buhari’s recall of non-career ambassadors into a tribal or political issue.
Rajis-Okpara in a statement said the envoys were not sacked but recalled in accordance with standard practice once there was a change of government.
She said that turning ambassadors’ recall into a tribal or political issue was not healthy for the nation
Rajis-Okpara said some reports alleged that the envoys were sacked while others insinuated that envoys from a political party or geo-political zone were recalled.
“I would like to use this opportunity to inform Nigerians that ambassadors were not sacked. Rather they were recalled according to standard procedure, once there is a new government.
“The said recall letters were gotten by some ambassadors over a week ago and we were all informed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since two months ago.
“The Ministry informed the Ambassadors to start getting ready because the President will send a recall letter whenever he is ready.
“From day one, it was stated in our letter of credence that the President has the right to recall us at anytime, so we live ready daily as ambassadors”, she said.
According to her, the ambassadors were all aware that the recall letter would come someday, adding that it did not come as a surprise to the envoys.
“It’s not a witch hunt or an act of punishment to the ambassador because Mr President may decide to still work with some of the said ambassadors if he deems fit.”
The envoy said the President had been “really magnanimous” in having the ambassadors at their various missions after May 29.
She explained the recall letters even gave the ambassadors enough time to round off and return home.
“We are not to return home within 24 hours.
“This is to assure intending delegates to Nigeria-Singapore Business and Investment Forum 2015, that it will take place on Aug. 4 as scheduled under my leadership as the Nigerian High Commissioner to Singapore,” she said.
She called on the citizenry to support the present administration to deliver on the change it promised.
“We have only one country that we can call our own, let us, therefore, stop tearing it down but rather join hands to build the Nigeria of our collective dreams, hope and aspirations,” she said.
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