President Bola Tinubu has directed the immediate recall of all career and non-career ambassadors from their duty posts worldwide. The president, who gave the ambassadors October 31 deadline to return to Abuja, however directed that Nigeria’s Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in New York and Geneva be exempted from this total recall, in view of the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, scheduled later this month. Former President Muhammadu Buhari had in January 2021 approved the posting of a total of 95 ambassadors, including the 42 non-career ones whose nomination was ratified by the Senate in July 2020.
Tinubu’s directive, according to a statement issued yesterday in Abuja by his spokesperson, Ajuri Ngelale, was sequel to his careful study of the present state of affairs at Nigerian Consulate Offices and Embassies worldwide. The statement added that the latest move was also in tandem with the President’s Renewed Hope agenda as he is determined to ensure that world-class efficiency and quality, will henceforth, characterise foreign and domestic service delivery to citizens, residents and prospective visitors alike. By the directive of the president, the recall of the affected officers takes immediate effect. It was earlier reported that Nigeria’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Ambassador Sarafa Tunji Isola, had been recalled. But the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, yesterday clarified that the federal government recalled all ambassadors from Nigeria’s foreign missions.
The minister said the action affected all career and non-career ambassadors, and not a witch-hunt. The minister communicated the information through his Special Adviser on Media, Al-Kashim Abdul-Kadir. “Sequel to the inquiries on the letter recalling the Nigerian ambassador to the UK, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, has reaffirmed that all career ambassadors and non-career ambassadors have been recalled on the instructions of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” the minister said. The minister explained that: “Ambassadors as representatives of the country, serve at the behest of the president and it’s his prerogative to send or recall them from any country.”
The ambassadors are expected to commence the winding down of their affairs in their countries of deployment, and take formal leave of the host government within 60 days and to return to Nigeria by October 31, 2023 at the latest. Tuggar, while thanking them for the service they have rendered in their capacity while representing the country in their host countries, said he was looking forward to welcoming them in Abuja on their return. Former President Buhari had in January 2021 ordered that a total of 95 ambassadors, including the 42 non-career ones, be posted out. A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Ambassador Gabriel Aduda, said: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to inform that His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the posting of ambassadors-designate to Nigerian Missions abroad.
“The list includes 43 career ambassadors and 52 non-career ambassadors. “With this development, the process of requesting agreement from the prospective host countries has commenced. “The ministry also wishes to inform that there will be an induction course for the ambassadors-designate and their spouses, which will hold on a date to be announced shortly to prepare and facilitate movement of the envoys to their respective missions.”