Ambassadors of various countries in Nigeria were on Friday warned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to immediately desist from violating the diplomatic channels of communication between them and their host country.
It specifically warned the diplomats against approaching President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo directly for meeting appointments.
The Permanent Secretary, Olusola Enikanolaye, who gave the warning at his maiden meeting with the diplomats in Abuja, urged them to put an end to unorthodox means of communication with the government.
Mr. Enikaonlaye, an ambassador, frowned at undiplomatic ways of seeking audience with the government where some embassies communicate directly with the presidency and other arms of government rather than going through the ministry.
“In saying this however we must hasten to note that some diplomats and some missions are in the habit of going above the Ministry of foreign affairs in seeking audiences and engagement with government at even higher levels.
“I need not to stress that this is not what we know as diplomat it is clearly violation of Vienna conventions.
“The ministry of foreign affairs is the main means of communication between the diplomatic communities and the host government.
“I am aware that we need to put our house in order in the ministry.
“And this is what we are already doing by ensuring that we respond quickly, proactively to your requests to your note verbal.
“Once we do this, there will be no reason for you to go above us to get things done”, he said.
Mr. Enikaonlaye vowed to take a very diplomatic review of a nation that thinks the best way to conduct business with Nigeria is not to go through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to him we have served in your countries and we know what happens in those countries. Please I urge you to respect our rules, respect our laws, respect our channels of communication.
He also condemned a situation where some nations also wrote note verbal to the presidency.
“I thought you all know that note verbal is the highest form of correspondence between the diplomatic nations and the minister of foreign affairs.
“You cannot address note verbal to the presidency. It is not done. Please I am appealing to you to desist from such an orthodox means of communication with our government.
“As regard to seeking for audiences, please make your request known to our principal at least a month ahead so as to give room for preparation and respect for authority
“It is in our interest and yours that we have sufficient notice”, he said.
He stressed that the Ministry and government were committed to their wellbeing and welfare stressing that the ministry operates an open door policy if there were is issue of concern to address. (NAN)