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The Federal Government has recalled Nigeria’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Usman Ogar, after a viral video showed some Immigration officials assaulting a Nigerian diplomat in the capital city of Jakarta.
Several Nigerians including ex-diplomats expressed their displeasure over the incident on Tuesday.
The diplomat, who was apparently in pain while the unyielding Indonesian immigration officers pinned his head to the seat of a car, was heard shouting “I can’t breathe.”
On Tuesday, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, announced Ogar’s recall for consultations at a press briefing in Abuja, noting that the government would review the bilateral relations between Nigeria and the Asian country.
Reacting to the development, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Mexico, Ogbole Amedu-Odeh, described the attack as a violation of the Vienna Convention, adding that it was too early to know the reciprocal action the FG would take.
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He stated, “The (Foreign Affairs) minister has already come out firing from the hip; so, the Indonesians know they need to do the needful because what their officials have done against the Nigerian foreign service officer is antithetical to the letter and spirit of the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic and Consular Rules of 1961 which state expressly that the person of a diplomat is inviolable.
“For them to subject the diplomat to such act is against the letter and spirit of that convention which is essentially the bible of diplomacy. Nigeria is treading cautiously by calling for a marching intervention of the Indonesian authorities or else, Nigeria may be compelled to take measures.
“What measures? We do not know. The recall of our ambassador to Indonesia is a flowery way of registering our dissatisfaction with the way and manner the issue has been handled by Indonesia. Let us watch and see what would happen.”
Another retired diplomat and former Director of Trade and Investment, Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rasheed Akinkuolie, also faulted the assault on the diplomat, noting that the first step to take in this case was for Nigeria to protest strongly to Jakarta which had been done.
According to him, though it might be too hasty for Nigeria to break diplomatic relations with Jakarta, the FG needed to have all the facts and circumstances surrounding the incident before taking a hard-line posture against Indonesia.
This post was written by Obiajulu Joel Nwolu.
The views expressed here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect our views and opinions.