From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Federal Government, yesterday, presented letters of credence to 25 career and non career ambassadors-designate.
At the ceremony which took place at the Tafawa Belewa House, Abuja, were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama and the Deputy Governor of Kano State, Alhaji Nasiru Yusuf-Gawuna.
Some of the envoys who received the letters of credence were Ambassador Ben Okoyen (Cuba); Ambassador George Edokpa (Deputy Permanent Representative, United Nations); Ambassador Yakubu Ahmed (Qatar); Ambassador Nura Rimi (Egypt, with concurrent accreditation to Eritrea and Palestine).
Addressing the ambassadors-designate, Onyeama said the presentation represented many years of very hard work on their part, adding that the presentation was also a fulfilment of their labour.
Onyeama also said to each and every one of the envoys, it was a testimony to the confidence that President Muhammadu Buhari had in them, to send them out as his principal envoys to represent him and to represent the country as well in their designated countries.
The minister who congratulated the envoys, reminded them that there was an onerous task that they also had which he said, was a prestigious one.
Onyeama expressed utmost confidence that the ambassadors-designate would discharge their onerous task and responsibilities with great success, even as he said the country’s interest rested in their very capable hands as they resumed in their respective countries.
“There are large numbers of Nigerians in countries all over the world, and they will be also in the countries which you are going to.
“Remember it is very important that, yes, you are representing Mr President, but you are also servants of Nigerians in those countries.
“And those Nigerians that you will find in the countries to which you will be accredited, you also have to remember that you are there as their servants too, to provide every assistance possible within your means, Nigerians who may be in difficulty or who might just be looking for ordinary services and so forth, remember to treat each and every single one of them with respect and remembering that they are your brothers and sisters and also treat them with affection. This is extremely important,” Onyeama charged the envoys.
Onyeama further charged the envoys to be economic ambassadors and promote trade between Nigeria and the countries to which they have been assigned.
He also said they should focus on every aspect, be it sports or technology, in order to be a focal point in getting Nigeria to benefit from those countries they will serve.
Responding on behalf of the envoys, Okoyen said Nigeria was a nation that must be put in top priority in everything that they do.
The immediate past Consul General of Nigeria in New York, United States, further said as principal representatives of the president, they were very much aware of their responsibilities.
“We will provide the required leadership in our various missions and countries of accreditation. We will do that with sincerity of purpose, utmost dedication, patriotism and putting our nation first in all we do,” Okoyen said.