Nigerian Ambassador to Cote d’Ivore, Ambassador Martin Adamu, has described as ‘malicious’ a publication in a national daily newspaper, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari, to recall the Consular Officer in the Embassy in Abidjan.
In a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, the Ambassador noted that a group that lost out in a recent Nigerian Community election supervised by the Embassy has vowed to bring the Embassy to public ridicule hence, the malicious publication aimed at tarnishing the image of the Consular Officer.
The Ambassador in the letter dated 24TH August, 2022, states: “The Embassy’s attention has been drawn to a malicious publication in the pages of ThisDay newspaper of 24th August, 2022, titled “Nigerian Community in Cote d’Ivoire Calls on Buhari to Recall Consular Officer.
“Your Excellency, it is pertinent to note that on 29th May, 2021, the Embassy supervised a widely participated election, organised by the Nigerian Community where a new Executive, led by Michael Emeka Onwuchelu, emerged.
“The Lawani Waliou-led group which refused to participate in the election, became embittered and had resolved to sow seeds of discord and cause acrimony within the Nigerian Community, as, according to them, they had been in control of the Nigerian Community prior to the establishment of the Embassy in Cote d’lvoire.
“To our disconcertment, the group went further to make similar false accusations which they conveyed to Headquarters and even went as far as the Presidency. It is worthy to note, Sir, that this group has employed this modus operandi in trying to assassinate the characters of previous Consular Officers that have served in the Mission.
“It is unfortunate that despite the efforts the Embassy has made to bring opposing factions together, in an attempt to foster peace within the community, the antagonists have remained self-serving and critical.”
Ambassador Adamu, while testifying to the integrity of the Consular officer, states: “Contrary to their false accusations, I have worked closely with the officer in question and found him to be diligent and proactive. He goes beyond the call of duty to ensure the efficient execution of his duties.
“Your Excellency, in the execution of its mandate, the Embassy has ensured fair play, inclusiveness and extensive representation in the affairs of the Nigerian Community. We have not encountered any problems in our dealings with other Nigerians except the Waliou group.’
Meanwhile, reactions have been trailing the publication by prominent members of the Nigerian Community in Cote d’Ivore, dismissing the allegations raised by the embattled Lawani Waliou-led group against the Consular Officer.
Mr. Onyekachukwu Davidson Ogbu, wrote: The persons behind this publication must be criminals. The individuals whose names were mentioned in the publication are not members on Nigerian Community nor the President and Secretary General of Nigerian Community in Côté D’ivoire . This is criminality taken too far!
Thisday Newspaper should disassociate themselves from this malicious publication and please verify people next time before making any kind of publication to avoid dragging the noble Newspaper to the mud. The publisher should kindly take note that the publication did not emanate from the Nigerian Community.
The consular Officer we know Mr. Damilola Abikoye, is a gentle man doing a great job for Nigerians in Côté D’ivoire, he should rather be commended for his hard work and great effort by cooperating with the Nigerian Community in rescuing the already damaged image of Nigeria.”
Another person, Eze Frankline, wrote: “This is the hand work of Lawani Waliou, Tajudeen Akinwale and their cohorts. These are the cowards that have been oppressing Nigeria community and thinks that they will finish oppressing Nigeria community and also oppress the Nigerian embassy all the time.
Thank God that we have a man of dignity as our counsel who stood by his words and working tirelessly and making sure that there is sanity in Nigerian community in Cote D’Ivoire. Disregard this news for it is fake and was written by criminals who are working towards the downfall of our community.”
According to Ilori Adeyeye, “This news is not from Nigerian community in Cote d’Ivoire oooo. We have awesome consular. This should be the handy work of those traffickers that Nigerian embassy in Abidjan is fighting. You can’t blackmail our noble consular ooo.”