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Diplomats and Foreign Affairs Minister Tuggar argue over return date

Nigerian Ambassadors and High Commissioners at various Foreign Missions appear to be at odds with Foreign Affairs Minister Amb. Yusufu Tuggar about the recalled diplomats’ return date.

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gospelcable has conflicting information on the recalled diplomats’ return dates.

The Federal Government’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs recalled ambassadors and high commissioners on September 2 and gave them until October 31 to return home.

Ambassadors passionately petitioned President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to extend the return deadline to December 31 so their wards could take their promotion examinations and simplify the academic calendar to avoid skipping a year.

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The Ambassadors’ request looked to have obtained the President’s approval, but Foreign Affairs Minister Tuggar announced last week that the ambassadors’ tenure extension was not granted till December 31, stressing that October 31 remains “sacrosanct”.

The ambassadors are reportedly preparing for a significant clash due to the Minister’s strict posture and seeming indifference to their children’s education.

The foreign embassies’ financial woes, including service provider threats to sue for nonpayment, are claimed to be worsening the situation.

Foreign Mission sources reported financing issues for the past five months.

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The Ambassadors urged President Tinubu to intercede before the nation was humiliated.

Since the October deadline extension broke in the media, the Minister of Foreign Affairs refuted the allegation and placed a restriction on foreign Missions’ accounts “to check frivolous spending by the Ambassadors”.

According to the Minister’s Special Assistant on Media and Strategic Communication, Alkasim Abdulkadre, the Presidency did not order the Ambassadors’ leaving extension.

However, a Foreign Mission source said, “the Minister cannot claim that there is no extension of the deadline and at the same time it was reported in various national reputable media outfits.”

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The Ambassadors have questioned the Minister’s genuine intent and why he seems so eager to replace them even though it will take four to six months.

They are also concerned that the Minister’s aide stated that the Presidency was not satisfied by the Ambassadors’ stay extension justification.

Thus, the Ambassadors dispute whether their children and wards’ schooling and financial ruin were not enough causes for such extension.

Other concerned Nigerians who have followed the development have spoken in.

Dr. Bright lheme, an international relations consultant, criticized the Minister’s statement, saying it may accuse Mr. President.

In a phone interview with gospelcable correspondent, Iheme asked whether the presidency is not concerned that the children of over 109 Nigerian families will waste their full academic year, whereas any responsible government prioritizes education acceleration.

Alhaji Tuggar, who was an Ambassador until his current appointment, should have used his experience to improve the Foreign Affairs Ministry. He wondered why he would put his own ego above the nation’s, which “runs contrary to the oath of allegiance which he swore to”.

Iheme remarked that the Foreign Service Regulation gives diplomats three months to leave when recalled, but Ambassadors just two months, and pondered why.

Observers feel that President Tinubu’s political will to recognize the Ambassadors’ condition and act decisively to avoid embarrassment will determine their fate.

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