The Nigerian government, on Friday, conferred the highest rank of ‘ambassador-in-situ’ on 115 career diplomats from the ministry of foreign affairs.
Speaking at the investiture ceremony, Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, commended the diplomats for their dedication over the years. He said the conferment of the title shows that the president appreciates the sacrifices they have made over the years.
Nigeria’s image and benefit in the global community have accrued over the years as a result of their efficient representations across the globe, Mr Onyeama said.
“One aspect of our foreign policy and diplomacy that we do not appreciate a lot is how Nigeria maintains an excellent relationship with every country in the world,” he said, adding that these relationships are maintained by Nigerian diplomats in various countries.
Ambassador-in-situ is the highest rank for persons in foreign service. A total of 16 women and 99 men were appointed at the ceremony.
“It is the recognition of work already done and positions they have attained. Automatically, when you achieve a certain level in the diplomatic service, you earn the right to be conferred by Mr President with the honour of ambassador-in-situ,” Mr Onyeama explained.
Additionally, there is a distinction between when a diplomat is accredited to a country as an ambassador and the recognition that comes with the level of work done and the level achieved.
The appointees comprised both serving and retired diplomats in the foreign service.
Anthony Ebipador, one of the newly appointed ambassadors, told PREMIUM TIMES he felt fulfilled and looks forward to being posted soon.
Similarly, Nonyelum Afoekelu expressed excitement at her appointment adding that she is looking forward to serving.
Another awardee, Walter Ajobo, speaking at the ceremony, thanked the president for the honour.
“We have waited patiently for a day like this. For those serving, it is career motivating and for the retired, it is career fulfilling,” he said.
He also thanked and commended the minister for facilitating the investiture while pledging his and his colleagues’ commitment to serving whenever they are called upon.
In a vote of thanks on behalf of the appointees, Kabiru Musa thanked the president for honouring an agelong tradition. He said the conferment will serve as motivation to other colleagues to continue working diligently.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie - +2348098788999