Ben Agande, Abuja.
The Federal Government has suspended the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni, over the unauthorized recall of the Nigerian Ambassador to South Africa.
A highly placed government official in the Presidency told Vanguard that the president ordered the suspension of the Permanent Secretary Monday Morning and was directed to clarify why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for embarrassing the Nigerian government.
The source who did not want his name in print because he was not authorized to speak on the matter said the president was “livid with anger” when he read about the recall of the Nigerian Charge De Affairs who is also the head of mission without his authorization.
Nigeria presently does not have an ambassador in South Africa.
It is the second time since the appointment of the permanent Secretary, Ambassador Sheni that the Nigerian government would be brought to diplomatic ridicule over poor handling of diplomatic affairs.
In the first instance, the Ministry had claimed that President Goodluck Jonathan spoke with the King of Morocco on Phone, a claim that was denied by the Moroccoan government and later president Jonathan who ordered a full investigation into the matter.
The report of the investigation is still being awaited three weeks to the end of this administration.
The report of the alleged recall of the Nigerian Ambassador to South in the wake of the xenophobic attacks on foreigners and their businesses elicited a strong reaction from the South African government which described the action as “unfortunate”.
But the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Reuben Abati however clarified that the Charge De Affairs of Nigerian Embassy in South Africa has only been invited for “routine consultation”.