Why FG suspended Ministry of Foreign Affairs Perm Sec | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Why FG suspended Ministry of Foreign Affairs Perm Sec

Posted: Apr 28, 2015 at 6:36 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Celestine Amoke, Lagos

The Federal Government suspended the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni, over his unauthorised recall of the Nigerian Charge d’Affairs in South Africa, Daily Independent has gathered.

Sheni withdrew the envoy from South Africa at the heat of the xenophobic attacks on foreigners and their businesses.

A source in the Presidency told our correspondent that the Permanent Secretary recalled the envoy without recourse to the presidency, an action which angered President Goodluck Jonathan culminating in his ordering for his suspension on Monday, April 27, 2015.

The source added that Sheni also received a query to explain why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for embarrassing the Federal  Government.

The source who wished to remain anonymous said President Jonathan was angered when he read about the recall of the Nigerian Charge de Affairs who is also the head of Nigerian mission in South Africa. Nigeria does not have an ambassador in the country.

It was the second time the Federal Government would be embarrassed by poor handling of diplomatic affairs under his watch.

The  first was when his ministry claimed that President Jonathan spoke with the King of Morocco on phone, a claim that was denied by the Moroccan government and which led to Jonathan’s ordering of full investigation into the matter.

The South African government has since described the reaction of Nigeria to the mayhem in the former apartheid enclave as unfortunate.

However, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, clarified that the Charge d’ Affairs of  was only invited for routine consultation.