Senator begs Jonathan to forgive suspended Permanent Secretary

Ambassador Danjuma Nanpon Sheni, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The senator representing Bauchi central, Abdul Ningi, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to forgive the Foreign Affairs ministry’s permanent secretary, who was sanctioned last week for recalling Nigeria’s envoys to South Africa without authorisation.

Mr. Sheni was suspended for recalling the diplomats in protest of the xenophobia in South Africa, a move criticized by the South African government.

Mr. Ningi criticised Mr. Sheni for his action, but urged the Senate on Tuesday to intervene and plead with the president to tamper justice with mercy.

“I am aware that the president and Commander-in-Chief is responsible for such a call and also aware that the permanent secretary has no power whatsoever to recall an ambassador without a clear directive by the government,” he said.

“Knowing the anger and the mood of this country and believing that the Senate and indeed the National Assembly did the right thing in suggesting and urging for the executive to recall the ambassador.

“I therefore want this Senate not to look the other way and the president, Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces to tamper justice with mercy.

“It is indeed his responsibility, powers and jurisdiction and I think it’s important at times like this that the Senate president should urge the president, so as to say the permanent Secretary should not be dismissed.

“He did the wrong thing at the wrong time and he should not have done it because of the mood so the president, a humble man should tamper justice with mercy,” said Mr. Ningi.

The deputy Senate president, Ike Ekweremadu, said the issue will be conveyed to the president.
“The issue of the recall is a very sensitive matter and we will convey the issue to the president” he said.

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