Envoy Recall: FG Lifts Suspension On Perm Sec. | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Envoy Recall: FG Lifts Suspension On Perm Sec.

Posted: May 8, 2015 at 9:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Rotimi Akinwumi  / Abuja


Respite has come the way of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Danjuma Nanpon Sheni who was suspended by the President for recalling two Nigerian envoys to South Africa over the recent xenophobic attack on Africans, including Nigerians by some South Africans.

The recall of the Nigerian Ambassador in a memo signed by the Permanent Secretary drew the ire of the President who placed the Permanent Secretary on suspension because he allegedly took the decision unilaterally.

However, a source in the Presidency told Daily Independent yesterday that the President has pardoned the suspended Permanent Secretary but asked that he be redeployed to another ministry.

“Ambassador Sheni’s suspension was lifted after he had satisfactorily explained that the invitation of Nigeria’s Charge d’Affairs to South Africa to explain the xenophobic attacks was a routine diplomatic initiative which received the express approval of the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassado,r Aminu Wali.

“Sheni has since reported in the Office of the Head of Service as Permanent Secretary since the President has pardoned him” the source said.

Recall that President Goodluck Jonathan suspended Sheni, for allegedly prompting the recall of Nigeria’s envoys to South Africa without due authorisation, triggering a diplomatic spat between the two countries.

Jonathan queried Sheni and placed him on suspension to allow investigation into the matter.

Nigeria announced the recall of its acting High Commissioner in Pretoria, Martin Cobham, and the deputy High Commissioner in Johannesburg, Uche Ajulu-Okeke, on a Saturday, in protest against xenophobic attacks against African immigrants in South Africa.

A statement from the foreign affairs ministry, attributed to the minister, Aminu Wali, said the diplomats were “summoned for consultations” over the attacks.

South Africa slammed the decision, describing it as “unfortunate and regrettable”, and portraying Nigeria as opportunistic.

Ambassador Sheni was appointed the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November 2014, having been seconded there from the Office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation.