By John Ahajumobi
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Does Nigeria have a Foreign Affairs Ministry? And if it does why are those in authority not responding to damaging stories of our missions abroad. We are quick to deviating or turning a blind eye to issues of national importance and interest. Right now, every focus is on deportation of Nigerians from South Africa; yet in several European countries, Nigerians are deported every day and in many times, in inhumane circumstances and nobody reacts from the ministry of Foreign Affairs. Last year, my attention was drawn to a report in the Will newspaper on the activities of the Nigerian Ambassador to Venezuela, in that report, it was pointed out with documents that the said Ambassador was searched for drugs possession in that country; that the said Ambassador has misappropriated Nigeria tax payers in that country, spending huge accounts of money on personal and family matters. I have also heard from Nigerians in that part of the world that what was published in the media was just a scratch on the surface of the problem with that mission in Caracas, Venezuela. My question what is the Minister of Foreign Affairs doing about this matter; is this not damaging enough; I don't want to jump into conclusions but Ambassador Felix Oboro is representing the home state of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; could that be a reason why the Minister of Foreign Affairs is not reacting to these allegations or at least gave the public a rejoinder to confirm or refute the stories being circulated in the media. I could remember some years back, a Nigerian Ambassador to the Netherlands, Professor Mary Lar, she was doing a wonderful job in her mission; loved by Nigerians but because of personal dispute between her husband, Somolon Lar and the then President Olusegun Obasanjo, she was recalled within 48 hours. That is the type of country we have in Nigeria where innocent people are removed from public office and corrupt and selfish minded individuals are left in office and position of influence because of political affiliations and patronage.

Once again to the case of Ambassador Felix Oboro; just last week here, he was reported to confirm his query to some political colleagues and yet he has been left to continue to parade himself in Venezuela as Nigeria's ambassador. The populace there is yet to a refund of the new passport they have paid for till date and some of them are threatening to storm the Embassy to demand for a refund or they would take the laws into their own hands.

Ambassador Oboro should be courageous enough to clear his name despite whatever his political sponsors may feel except himself do not care for his name or hell belt on staying on as Nigeria Ambassador to that country. A good name is better than any position you could be given on earth; even in the Niger-Delta area of Nigeria, there are people who thinks the area has enough competent and qualified people for the coveted office of Nigeria's Ambassador.

It is high time, the government rethink on the appointment of political Ambassadors and if that would continue, a proper screening exercise be organized; Ambassador Oboro was controversial even as Secretary to Bayelsa State that he forcefully resigned. Yes such a person is appointed as Nigeria's Ambassador to a very strategic country with oil resources which should benefit Nigeria as a whole but in four years, no business investments exchanges between both countries. The fault could only be on Nigeria's Ambassador in that country.

As a concerned Nigerian, I am very curious to read the explanation of his Honorable Minister, Ambassador Ashiru who himself was a career diplomat and represented Nigeria in South Africa on why such continued portray of Nigeria in a bad light is left unaddressed. Also when allegations are made directed at the office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs that alone should prompt a reaction. Probably it has been done that I missed it but from my last observation from the list published by the Nigeria media and said to be have been approved by the Senate committee confirming the names of newly or retained Ambassadors, the name of Ambassador Felix Oboro was missing and yet he has returned to Venezuela with alleged copy of his reappointment letter for another three years in Venezuela.

Is this development not strange? So I wait to be corrected that the list released by the Nigerian Senate was irrelevant and someone else has powered or muscled in names of their choice.

Ambassador Oboro from the last media report is not concerned because to him he has settled those that need be at the Foreign Affairs Ministry for his re-appointment to Venezuela or any other country of his choice. If this is true, then Ambassador Felix Oboro is only a metaphor in Nigeria's collapsed system. My question is what is the role of Ministry of Foreign Affairs? The minister needs to speak on this matter because people around the world are reading all of these articles in the media and they are simply laughing at us as un-serious pack of people.

We as citizens are called upon to protect the name and image of Nigeria but those placed in position of authorities are not doing the same; how is that possible and how can we change the negative image of Nigeria when people in authority do not take responsibility.

Why has Ambassador Oboro's reply to the query authorized by the same Minister not attended to or made known to the public that the allegations are untrue or unfounded? It is obvious that someone need to take responsibility for the mess in Nigeria mission in Venezuela.

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