Days Of Direct Access To Jonathan Is Over – Foreign Affairs Minister Tells Diplomats
Foreign Affairs Minister, Amb. Aminu Wali, has stated that he would not tolerate situations where foreign missions in Nigeria bypass his ministry to gain direct access to the presidency.
He spoke at his inaugural meeting with members of the diplomatic corps, where he also unveiled his agenda for the ministry.
“In line with diplomatic practice and protocol however, I shall take a dim view of abuse of access as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must be accorded its proper recognition and place as the official channel of communication with government,” he said.
“A situation where diplomatic missions show disrespect to the exalted office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and our sovereignty by addressing themselves direct to that office, will not be condoned.
“I am sure you will agree with me that diplomacy must always be conducted on the basis universal practice of mutual respect, candour and sovereign equality,” Wali warned.
The minister disclosed that he would recreate a new era of Nigeria's foreign policy that would best serve the interest of the country and the people.
“It is not my intention to change the direction and content of Nigeria's foreign policy, which has stood the test of time.
“Rather, I intend to recreate a new era of Nigeria's foreign policy by sharpening our focus on what will best serve the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians in our engagements with the outside world.
“It is my intention to build on existing relations and to promote new partnerships and collaborative initiatives, centred on issues that are germane to Nigeria's national interest,” he stated.
He therefore sought the cooperation of the foreign diplomats in order to achieve his vision.
“The success of this blue print requires closer cooperation with your various countries as well as collaboration and synergy with Ministries, Agencies and Departments of government at all levels in Nigeria.
“I am therefore confident that, together, we can achieve concrete foreign policy outcomes that will serve our collective aspirations for a brighter future for the people of Nigeria and a better world for all,” he said.
Earlier, he commended the support received from various missions and countries during Nigeria's centenary celebrations.
“Let me start by first expressing the profound appreciation of the Federal Government and the people of Nigeria for the unflinching support and cooperation that Nigeria has continued to enjoy with your various missions and countries, despite the challenges that we face as a country.
“The test of true friendship is the willingness to stay the course with partners at all times, including moments of adversity and challenges.
“The Federal Government and Nigerians are therefore grateful for the messages of goodwill, solidarity and felicitation that were received from across the world during the recently-concluded.