By Fortune Abang
Victor Ikoli, a former President of Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), Qatar chapter has described President Bola Tinubu’s recall of Nigerian envoys globally, including Qatar, a bold move for diplomatic rebirth.
Ikoli made this known in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday .
Tinubu had on Saturday recalled all Nigeria’s career and non-career ambassadors.
Ikoli, while commending development, however, noted that said such could pose implications for Nigeria’s diplomatic position and relations with Qatar.
“While the decision to recall ambassadors may have its reasons and benefits, it is essential to consider the potential adverse impacts on ongoing diplomatic relations
“The decision by President Tinubu to recall all 97 Nigerian ambassadors from embassies and high commissions across the globe, including Qatar, undoubtedly carries significant implications for Nigeria’s diplomatic standing and its relations with Qatar.
“Former Ambassador of Nigeria to Qatar, Yakubu Ahmed’s two years tenure in Qatar facilitated the development of strong bilateral relations and paved the way for various opportunities,” he said.
According to him, one immediate concern is the potential disruption of these positive developments; the ambassador’s valuable experience and established relationships have been instrumental in advancing Nigeria-Qatar relations.
“With the upcoming Qatar Expo 2023 in October, the absence of a senior diplomatic representative from Nigeria could have adverse consequences.
“This event is not only an opportunity for economic and cultural exchange but also a moment where diplomatic representation is crucial,” he said.
He underscored the need for urgent steps to be taken to sustain the already cordial relationship enjoyed between Nigeria and Qatar, and avoid challenges the absence of senior diplomats often posed at foreign missions.
According to him, the recall could introduce uncertainty regarding the timeline for the appointment of a new ambassador.
“Diplomatic transitions can be complex and time-consuming, potentially leaving Nigeria without a senior diplomat in Qatar for an extended period.
“During this gap, Nigerian citizens and businesses may lack effective representation in Qatar, and the country’s interests could be at risk.
“Moreover, the proactive stance of Qatar in protecting its citizens and residents through diplomatic missions is well-known.
“Without a senior diplomat to speak for Nigerians, there might be challenges in addressing the needs and concerns of Nigerian expatriates in Qatar promptly,” he added.
He reiterated the need for proper management of the transition process and swift appointment of new ambassador, adding that such had become important to maintain and further Nigeria’s diplomatic interests in Qatar.
Earlier in a statement, Presidential spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale, said the recall was sequel to Tinubu’s review of the state of affairs at Nigerian Consulate Offices and Embassies worldwide.
According to him, Tinubu is determined to ensure international best practices characterised foreign and domestic service delivery to Nigerian citizens, residents and foreigners.
Nigeria’s Permanent Representatives to the United Nations in New York and Geneva were exempted from the recall, due to the upcoming United Nations General Assembly, to hold in September, 2023. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)
Edited by Isaac Aregbesola