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FG cautions diplomats to respect Nigeria’ internal affairs

By The Citizen
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The Federal Government on Tuesday asked foreign countries with embassies and high commissions in Nigeria to treat Nigeria's internal issues with respect.

It cautioned diplomats to be cautious about the statement they make about Nigeria.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Olugbenga Ashiru, asked the diplomats to stop making provocative and comments in press interviews and public functions that they get engaged in, saying that such would be in utter disregard of local sensitivities.

Ashiru said this in his address at an interactive session with the diplomatic community at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja.

He accused foreign elements of aiding transactions of Nigeria's stolen crude oil.

The minister said that such unguarded statements were tantamount to undue interference in Nigeria's internal affairs.
According to him, the diplomats sometimes represent and promote the views of anti-democratic forces designed to ridicule or embarrass the Nigerian government.

The Federal Government, he said, would not encourage or condone Ambassadors and High Commissioners running riot with comments that were capable of undermining the host authorities abroad.

He also at the occasion called for supports from the diplomats in tackling the menace of oil theft and terrorism against the country.

The Minister said: 'Oil theft and bunkering would have abated a long time ago if there are no buyers of stolen commodity. The vessels used for this ignoble transaction have non-Nigerian ownership, while the buyers are located in countries

Ashiru added that Nigeria had received several trade investments and business partnership drives from many countries of the world, thus amounting to increase in number of foreign investors with secured shares and contracts in various sectors of the Nigerian economy.

He however commended the diplomatic missions for improving on visa issuance to Nigerian applicants, but observed that some challenges are still within the system and should be worked out as well.