Nigeria ‘probes AU seat loss’, suspects sabotage by own officials

African Union [Photo: Wikipedia]
African Union [Photo: Wikipedia]

The Federal Government has instituted a panel of inquiry to investigate Nigeria’s failure to clinch the post of Commissioner for Peace and Security at the African Union (AU), the News Agency of Nigeria has reported.

Nigeria contested for the position of the post at the AU meeting in Addis Ababa on January 30 and lost the election to the incumbent, Algeria.

Citing presidential sources, NAN said the constitution of the panel was informed by the reported acts of sabotage leveled against some staff of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The source said already a senior staff of the ministry had been identified as the brain behind the plot against Nigeria before and during the election.

“A serving Director and two retired Permanent Secretaries with reported ties to one of the candidates from a friendly country that vied for the same position of Commissioner, Peace and Security, were said to be behind the illegal, fraudulent and highly unpatriotic issuance of these infamous Notes.

“The serving director had since been issued with a query.

“This, certainly, is another case of suspected fraud and corruption which, by the way, is also endemic in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in its more than 100 missions abroad.”

According to the source, the official single-handedly wrote a letter to express Nigeria’s support for the Algerian candidate despite a Nigerian, Fatima Kyari, running for the same position.

“Clearly, therefore, Nigeria’s failure to clinch the post can only be attributed to other factors and not the quality of the its candidate.

“In this kind of elections, countries base their voting pattern more on political and other considerations than on the substantive quality (competence, skills, experience) of candidates.

“This pattern is clearly reflected in the elections of all the other categories, including that of the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission.

“”Most worrisome and unfortunate is the issue of the so-called Note Verbal issued by our embassies in Addis Ababa and Algiers, conveying a decision by the Federal Government of Nigeria to withdraw from the race in favour of Algeria. The truth is that there was no such decision by the government,’’ he said.

The source said Nigeria deserved to be commended for the way it reacted to the outcome of the election.

“If anything, the Government deserves commendation for keeping calm and abstaining to raise dust, despite initial indication of an external influence in the issuance of these highly embarrassing Notes,” the source said.

The presidential source also disclosed that the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, chaired the selection process where prospective candidates were shortlisted.

Mr. Onyeama, he said, also chaired the interview panel which graded and recommended names of candidates for the consideration of Mr. President.

He said Fatima Kyari was graded as second best candidate along with another female candidate even though all the other candidates were also found to be competent.

“However, only one candidate was to be selected. While only Mr. President and possibly those who were privy to the final selection process could say why Fatima and not any of the other three highest rated candidates was approved, the AU rule regarding gender parity, might have been a determining factor in favour of a female candidate.

“”The rule requires that the two Commissioners from each of the five regions must be a male and a female.

“”While Nigeria was still on the selection process – as always we were running late – , Senegal and Ghana had already put forward candidates for the two top most posts of Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson respectively.’’

He maintained that Ms. Kyari’s proficiency in French language, among other set of skills, also stood in her favour.

The source also dismissed the insinuation that Ms. Kyari was “inexperience” and “incompetent” for the seat.

He noted that the AU contracted an independent consulting firm that evaluated, assessed and cleared those who were adjudged to have the requisite skills, experience and competence to hold the positions they wanted to compete for.

He said that Ms. Kyari went through this process as all other candidates did, and was duly cleared otherwise she would not have been allowed to run.

“It, therefore, amounts to ignorance, malice and/or mischief to label the candidate as inexperienced and incompetent to serve as Commissioner at the AUC.

“The candidate is indeed highly qualified not only by the assessment of the AU consultants, but also by the testimonies of many other African and non-African personalities, bodies and organisations.

“She is skilful, competent and experienced to do the job very well and indeed add value into the job with new and pragmatic ideas.”

The source recalled that Fatimah was selected, along with 12 other African mid-career leaders, for the 2016 Africa Program of the Eisenhower Fellowship in the United States, but could not participate because it coincided with the preparations for the AUC election.

He also dismissed the report claiming that Fatima Kyari is the daughter of Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari.

“The assertion, including in some major media, that Fatima is the daughter of the Chief of Staff to the President is utterly callous and malicious, clearly made with the intention to generate bad feelings against not only the Chief of Staff but the President, and to also denigrate the candidate by associating her to nepotism.

“This is much so because it does not take anything to crosscheck her lineage, if no malice was intended and if professionalism was a motivating, and guiding factor.’’

According to him, the Chief of Staff met her for the first time ever after she became Nigeria’s candidate.(NAN)


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  • Isi Agwo

    In 1985, Nigeria’s head of state, one Muhammadu (Muhammad) Buhari, despite pleas from late President Julius Nyerere and many other African leaders, refused to back the candidacy of the acting secretary general Dr Peter Onu of Nigeria in the race for secretary-general of the Organization of African Unity (now AU). He backed his real countryman, Ide Oumarou of Niger Republic. The same Buhari is setting up a panel to investigate Nigeria’s loss of commissioner position in AU. This is the height of hypocrisy and tribalism.

    • ukoette ibekwe

      It’s because the person fielded was a fulan. Really, anyone from the south who continues to work with this government is self serving.

      • Sun Tzu

        just because none of your deranged family is opportune to work in the government

        • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

          Abi o

    • Sun Tzu

      religious bigot

    • The Rt. or Lft. Hon NinjaK

      Kudos bro.
      walai……your “isi” is truly truly “agwo”!

    • Sir Demo

      Yibo! Yibo!! Yibo!!! Dem curse una with half truths, lies and propaganda? Haba! The so called largest Tribe in Nigeria always wailing marginalisation! What must the Kalabaris or Itshekiris do then?

  • ayomi

    Whats new, Algeria is an Islamic country and possible Nigerian to fill the post may not be a Muslim nor a Fulani

    • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

      Are you alright? What brought about religion into matter. Some of you are not supposed to be here commenting, because you are mostly intellectually backward or deficient.

      • ayomi

        Sir,
        Sorry if I offend your sensibilities. If Buhari, while the head of state of
        Nigeria refused to support the candidacy of a Nigerian to head OAU but
        supported a Fulani from Niger. What is so farfetched that the loss of this UN
        position cannot be attributed to Algeria, being an Islamic country?

        • Abdulmojeed Nojeemdeen

          May you back up your allegation with undisputable and concrete evidence?. The same Niger he fought tooth and nail when their forces invaded Nigeria in the late seventies? Check history before you start towing the lines of mischief makers are born to be disgraced any time they come up with these kinds of unfounded allegation. What is patriotism? Especially to ones own country,even if it truly happened, so somebody in this global village should play the role of a traitor,backstabber,unpatriotism,? In whose interest? Biafra or what. And you are celebrating that as if it was an arm done to buhari your enemy? What spell befell us as Nigerians for God’s sake. Igbos are the one known to reason this way. They celebrate any evil that befalls Nigeria as though their barren wife just got pregnant. Where are we heading in the name of hatred. Have you seen where hatred pays. Remember the story Abel and Cain. Hatred. The Jews and the Arabs,hatred,the blacks and the white ,hatred, can you just stop a while and reason? Look I am not interested in dragging any religious or ethnic matter with you. But use your brain yourself and don’t allow anybody to use it for you. I am sorry if I have sounded insulting in any way to you,just trying to wake us up from our deep slumber. Enough of this idiocy being displayed by us on daily basis on all social media. Let’s treat issues on its merits and demerits.

  • Godwin

    we all know this,it is not today it came up,Mr President remove the Minister and replace him with Hon Abike,before it is too late,him in collaboration with his so called acting High Commissioner are wrecking havoc everywhere .in fact those who are not willing to play ball get no funding,if you play balls then you must sell Nigeria out to the highest bidder and it is happening every where

    • O.L Pius

      @disqus_Kl1KdH3gaK:disqus

      I WILL PREFER AKI OR PAWPAW AS FOREIGN MINISTER; THAN ABIKE DABIRI,

      IF THE COUNTRY HAS BECOME SUCH A FAILED STATE THAT CHARLATANS ARE

      BEING TOUTED AS THE CANDIDATES TO HEAD SUCH A PROFESSIONAL MINISTRY.

      • F.X.T

        Nigerians
        are not just wholly illiterate ignoramuses. They are suicidal people. They make
        fatal choices and die in consequence of their own fatal decisions. That’s why
        the morgues fill up in the country from preventable deaths of fools who have no
        mental understanding of public affairs but merely see it as sport in support of
        their favorite clubs. Because Nigerians are adamant in ignorance they die and
        put their own posterity in ruins, since politics is not what they suppose they are
        supporting, but instead criminal activities which have nothing to do with the real
        meaning of politics.

      • Godwin

        Charlatan you say are your referring to somebody who has headed the House of representative committee on foreign affairs and diaspora for 12 years as charlatan,bring the credential of the present let use check,Abike knows the problem and she knows how to fix it,she enjoys both political will and support of all i repeat all factions and sections of the diaspora ,she is not an insider in the ministry of foreign affairs and because of her political back ground nobody there can muscle her .Nigeria needs the right and best candidate,the Present minister is not it,we all know this everywhere you go people say it,right in foreign affairs there people are saying it .i do not want him disgraced,let them move him to trade or something or go as an ambassador but as for foreign affairs he is incompetent,not just that he seems to appears and act like someone who lacks patriotism

  • Sir Demo

    Seriously with the conducts if Onyeama, Emefiele and the records of Okonjo and Oduah when in offices, one will be wary of voting a Yibo into office.

    • Adekunle

      This is so true

      • Sir Demo

        It sound bigoted but it is the truth unfortunately. Okonjo sacked others and flood Finance with Ibos, same with Oduah