Amidst the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa, President Goodluck Jonathan, yesterday, suspended the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb Danjuma Sheni, over the controversial report on the recall of the country’s two ambassadors serving in the country.
Sheni is now being replaced by former Nigeria ambassador to Ethiopia and a Permanent Secretary at the Federal Civil Service Commission, Amb Paul Bulus Lolo.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Amb Aminu Wali had, last Saturday, in a statement said the Acting High Commissioner in Pretoria, Ambassador Martin Cobham and the Deputy High Commissioner in Johannesburg, Ambassador Uche Ajulu – Okeke have been summoned for consultation over the ongoing xenophobic attacks in South Africa. But a section of the media had reported the news that the Nigerian government had recalled the envoys as a protest against the violent attack.
This, according to a reliable source in the Foreign Ministry, was a huge lapses on the part of the management in sensitising the journalists covering the ministry’s activities on technical terms and terminologies of the diplomatic circle.
“It was due to this dereliction of duty that President Jonathan fired the permanent secretary,” the source said.
However, when contacted on telephone, the ministry’s Spokesman, Mr Ogbole Amedu Ode, said he had just heard about the news like every other person, hence, he was not in the position to confirm the development.
‘It is disingenuous to accuse everyone who calls for restructuring as trying to break up the county. History tells us that that kind of cheap blackmail will not work as long as the underlying reasons for the agitations persist.’
‘The biggest challenge seems to be that we seem to be allowing moderate voices on this issue to be drowned out by the reckless utterances of a few rabble rousers on all sides who may be tools in the hands of those who do not wish this country well. These are some of the people who arrogate to themselves the toga of spokespersons of our diverse groups.’
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