By Elizabeth Osayande
The Association of Foreign Relations Professionals of Nigeria, AFRPN, yesterday asked the Indonesia Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Ural Harahap to return to his country until a satisfactory explanation is given for the assault on Nigerian diplomat, Mohammed Buba in Jakarta, the capital, and steps taken to assuage frayed nerves.
The group, which is composed of serving and retired ambassadors, also in a statement, lauded the recall of Nigeria’s Ambassador to Indonesia, Usman Ogah, until the issue was resolved.
Describing the assault and strangulation of a Nigerian diplomat, Mr Mohammed Buba, by Indonesian Immigration officials as undiplomatic and uncivilized, President of the group, Amb Gani Lawal, said it endorsed the declaration of Indonesian embassy staff in Nigeria persona non grata, which would lead to their recall to Jakarta.
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In the statement, titled: ‘’Undiplomatic and uncivilized treatment of a Nigerian diplomat in Indonesia,’’ the group called for the sacking of the immigration officials.
Amb Lawal said the assault on Buba was a violation of Article 29 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, 1961.
He said: “The association recommends the immediate disengagement of all the Indonesian immigration officers involved in such uncivilized manner to desecrate the age-long tradition of inviolability of diplomatic agent and their family and property as provided by Article 29 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961) which states that; “Diplomats must not be liable to any form of arrest or detention. They are immune from civil or criminal prosecution.
“The AFRPN commends the immediate step taken by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs in summoning the Indonesian ambassador before receiving the full report from its embassy as a first step in the series of reactions reserved for such heinous diplomatic blunder.
“Equally commendable is the subsequent step taken by MFA after receiving the missions report by inviting home the Nigerian ambassador for consultation while expecting the Indonesian ambassador to toe the diplomatic avenue by equally returning to Jakarta until satisfactory explanation and necessary restitutive steps are taken by Indonesian authorities to assuage frayed nerves.”
While the ministry is still reviewing the state of our bilateral relations with Indonesia, the group said it was awaiting a robust reaction to serve as deterrent to future occurrence of such treatment to ‘’any of our diplomats and embassy home based staffs and indeed any Nigerian citizen from anywhere across the globe.”
The group strongly recommended that the family of the concerned diplomat be adequately compensated materially and, in terms of health, for the traumatic treatment meted out on them, while public apology satisfactory to the government and people of Nigeria must be tendered, as well as an assurance against repeat occurrence.
It also noted “the position of the house committee on diplomatic relations to move to invoke Article 9 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to declare everyone at the Indonesian Embassy in Abuja persona non grata, if their nation’s authorities failed to effectively explain their actions against the Nigerian diplomatic agent.”