By Sunday Oyinloye
The Embassy of Nigeria in Cote d ’Ivore has described as malicious a newspaper publication suggesting that the Nigerian Community in the country wants the Consular Officer at the Embassy recalled even as it says no group can dictate actions and activities of the Embassy.
In a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, a copy of which was sighted by Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable, the Nigerian Ambassador to Cote d’Ivore Mr. Martin S. Adamu alleged that a group of Nigerians led by one Lawani Waliou known for character assassination of previous Consular Officers are doing same with the current Consular Officer because of the emergence new Executive, led by Michael Emeka Onwuchelu who is not a member of their group.
His words “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 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
“It had become apparent to the Mission that the group was unhappy with the shift in status quo and had, therefore gone to all lengths to disrupt harmony in the Nigerian Community. Indeed, in a demonstration of their unruliness they went as far as writing to the host Ministry of Foreign Affairs to complain about the Embassy.
According to the Ambassador, “the group went further to make similar false accusations which they conveyed to Headquarters and even went as far as the Presidency.
“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.
“It appears that they will stop at nothing if only to ensure that they have their way in all things and at all times.
“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”.
Martin disclosed that 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. We remain undaunted by this unwholesome act and reject any attempt to subject the Embassy to ridicule and to this end, we are resolute in ensuring that the Waliou group will not dictate the actions and activities of the Embassy in the host country”.
Investigation by Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable reveals that people from a particular state in Nigeria are many in Cote d’Ivore and always want the leader of the Nigerian Community to emerge from amongst them or anyone they endorse which often generate crisis.
In an exclusive interview with Green Savannah Diplomatic Cable in 2019, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Cote d’Ivore, Mr. Ebenezer Oluwadare Olusanmokun shared his bitter experience saying that petitions were written against him to former President Olusegun Obasanjo by this same block for daring to embark on reforms at the Embassy.