By Douglas Ogbankwa Esq.
A Video is currently in circulation where a Nigerian Diplomat in Indonesia was forcefully abducted in commando style by some gun men said to be immigration Officials in front of the Nigerian Embassy in Indonesia.
Under this dispensation, the interests of Nigeria and Nigerians, as well as their properties have come under attack all round the World. Ironically, the major Foreign Policy thrust of this administration is Citizens’ Diplomacy, which is the protection of Nigerian Citizens and their interest all around the world.
There was a funny story of the demolition of the Nigerian Embassy Building in Ghana and the storyline that it was a tango between Nigeria and a land owner in Ghana. A shameless and shameful narrative that brought Nigeria to odium and opprobrium within the comity of nations.
The response of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is feeble and embarrassing. The extreme measure to take was for the Nigerian Immigration Service to abduct an Indonesian Diplonat violently, put it on video and send it to the Indonesian Government, following the doctrine of reciprocity, which is the fulcrum of international relations and diplomacy.
The mild measure to take would be to recall the Nigerian Ambassador to Indonesia and expel the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, as a retaliatory action.
A mere apology is salt upon injury. The Nigerian Government must send a message to other Countries that Nigeria, Nigerians and Nigerian Interest are to be treated with respect pursuant to all the Conventions in force for the time being including but not limited to the Geneva Convention.
Under the Geneva Convention, the Embassy of Nigeria to Indonesia is an extension of the Nigerian Territory and a Nigerian Diplomat, his family and their property are inviolable. As a matter of fact , the arrest of the Nigerian Diplomat in Indonesia as depicted by the gory video is a violation of International Law, for which Nigeria can institute proceedings against the Indonesian Government at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), Hague, Netherlands to seek punitive and aggravated damages against the Indonesian Government for a violent invasion of Nigerian territory, which is the Nigerian Embassy in Indonesia,which is a desecration of our National Symbol and representative in Indonesia – the Diplomat.
If the Indonesian Government can do this to a high ranking Diplomat, what is the fate of an ordinary Nigerian living in Indonesia?
The Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs should undertake an enquiry into the welfare of Nigerians in Indonesia. Nigeria must send a message loud and clear so that this issue would serve as a deterrent to other Countries.
A Fly does not perch on a hot cooking pot
-Old African Proverb.
About the Author:
Douglas Ogbankwa Esq., @email@example.com, a Benin Based Lawyer is the Convener of the National Movement for the Actualisation of Good Governance (NAMAGG) and the Benin Writers’ Society.