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Minister warns foreign diplomats over meddling in Nigeria's internal affairs

31 October 2014, 20:26

Abuja - The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Aminu Wali, on Friday in Abuja cautioned foreign diplomats against making "inflammatory remarks and reckless statement" against the Nigerian government on matters of domestic policy.

Wali handed down the warning at an interactive session with members of the diplomatic corps.

"The Federal Government has noted with deep concern that some heads of missions are in the habit of criss-crossing the country and making inflammatory and reckless statements against the government on matters of domestic policy.

"This is unacceptable interference in Nigeria’s internal affairs.

"Such envoys are advised to respect the sensitivity of Nigerians and the mood of the time,’’ he said.

The minister, who did not name the envoys involved in the meddling, thanked countries that had shown support in Nigeria’s fight against Boko Haram terrorists.

Also read: Government to downsize delegation to UN Assembly

"We are confident that the outcome of the ongoing ceasefire negotiations would bring the deadly scourge to an end.’’

Wali also told the session that preparations for next year’s general elections had reached advanced stage, reassuring the envoys of government’s commitment to conducting free, fair and credible elections.’’   

The session was dominated by discussions on the control of Ebola virus in Nigeria and ill-treatment of Nigerians travelling abroad by some foreign countries.

The minister protested the maltreatment of Nigerians, in spite of the country’s certification as Ebola-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Oct. 20.  

For the first time, the ministry named the countries where it said it had received reports of discrimination and stigmatisation against Nigerians, due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

The Ebola outbreak, which has hit Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone the hardest, has killed no fewer than 4900 people out of over 12,000 cases, according to WHO.

The countries discriminating against Nigerians are Bahrain, Cote d Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Cuba, Gabon, China, Egypt, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Zambia.

Others are Mauritania, Sao Tome and Principe, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Namibia, Seychelles and South Sudan.

After the meeting the minister personally shook hands with all the envoys, apparently to demonstrate that there was no basis for discrimination against Nigerians over Ebola.

He pledged that Nigeria was willing to share its experience at successfully controlling the Ebola virus with the rest of the world.

Members of the diplomatic corps observed a minute silence in honour of the Sudanese Ambassador, Dr Tagelsir Ali, who died in Abuja last Friday.

The diplomats also paid tribute to Mr Michael Scott, husband of the Jamaican High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mrs Ann Scott, who died on Tuesday in Abuja.

 - NAN



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