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Nigeria and the search for lost diplomatic glory

In 1960 when Nigeria got her independence, the country was perceived as a nation destined to play a major role in the comity of nations. This was in view of variables like history, geography and population.

Even with its policy of non-alignment, Nigeria still earned a lot of respect from the then power blocs in the international system.

However, recently, the earned international respect and traditional leadership of Nigeria in Africa are being put into question going by the ways and manners Nigerians and their diplomats are being treated abroad. It is really dehumanising and absurd the treatment many Nigerians get across the borders.

Over the last few years, the assaults that Nigerians have been subjected to in other countries are gradually becoming alarming. Nigerians had been reported to have faced a lot of xenophobic attacks from South Africans in spite of the leadership role played by Nigeria towards the collapse of apartheid regime in South Africa.

The situation in Ghana in which five Nigerians were killed has seen uproar from some Nigerians who believe that more should be done by the Federal government to ensure the better safety of the county’s citizens living abroad. Nigerians have been subjected to undue sufferings in foreign lands. Over time Nigerian deportees are seen in shackles on both their hands and legs, and this is completely inhumane and should not be allowed to continue.

Read Also: Nigerian diplomat manhandled in Indonesia

This drastic transition from that of a well-respected nation across the globe to a nation treated in odium and opprobrium did not come in isolation. From the moment Nigeria could not sustain its second republic leading to protracted military rules in Nigeria which climaxed to the annulment of the 1993 election internationally acclaimed to be free and fair; Nigeria lost a lot of her status and stature in world affairs.

The mismanagement of Nigeria’s economy and issues of corruption in government as well as infrastructural decay have also contributed in trading off the international respect that was once accorded to Nigeria as a nation and Nigerians generally.

The manhandling of our diplomats is unacceptable. Abuja should take adequate note of the incidents; and in particular, take appropriate measures to redress the treatment

At the moment, the assault has been taken to the next and unusual level since Nigerian diplomats are the latest targets. These untoward incidents have occurred in places like Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The manhandling of our diplomats is Manhandling and mistreating diplomats is unacceptable. Abuja should take adequate note of the incidents; and in particular, take appropriate measures to redress the treatment. The pertinent question here is: why are our diplomats being treated in this shabby manner?

The answer could be found in EmekaAnyaoku’s comments. Anyaoku contended that developments in this country are pushing Nigeria to the brink of national disaster. He also decried the degeneration of Nigeria into international irrelevance. .

If the country were to be relevant in the eyes of the international community as before, the Indonesian diplomat in Nigeria would not have the audacity to tell the foreign affairs Minister that our diplomat is to be blamed for what happened in Jakarta. No matter what the Nigerian diplomat might have done, immunity is immunity. Indonesia would not and never have tried that with the United States of America. It is quite an apology where Nigeria has found itself in the eyes of the international community.

Americans hold their national interest and national security dearly. They will do anything and everything within their powers to preserve and protect their nationals, no matter what. Little wonder an American citizen is always bold and proud to identify himself as an American, even those who migrated, once they can lay hands on the green card, they are proud to flash their American identity.

The reason we should be appalled, but not necessarily shocked, that Nigerian diplomats are being manhandled is because Nigerians in Indonesia and around the world are met with demeaning, degrading and dehumanising conditions every day. Yet the Federal government is practically doing nothing. We have a toothless bull-dog in the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, which would only bark when a Nigerian is on the wrong side of the law in foreign countries but will go into hiding when their rights are infringed on.

At the moment, Indomie, a noodles company from Indonesia accounts for more than 74% of Nigeria’s market. With more than 4.5 billion packets sold per year and a staggering yearly revenue of more than $700 million (N358,400 billion), should a country like Indonesia toy with Nigeria, bearing in mind the economic benefit of Nigeria to them, if not that we have lost our international relevance. Imagine the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) raising its hands against Nigerians and even the diplomat. How indeed, have the mighty fallen?

The manhandling and torturous treatment meted on the Nigerian diplomats is a most provocative development that grossly falls short of the standard of treatment deserving of a Nigerian not to talk of a diplomat or any other human being. This egregious act of international delinquency by the Indonesian state and the likes is unacceptable and must not be swept under the carpet.

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