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Sunday 2 July 2017

Buhari’s Illness Stalls Resumption Of Envoys

Buhari’s Illness Stalls Resumption Of Envoys

No less than 10 foreign ambassadors have been prevented resuming duties at their respective embassies in the country due to the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari.

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According to a report made by the PUNCH, the envoys had been allegedly unable to present their letters of credence at the Presidential Villa due to the absence of the President, who has been out of the country for about two months.

The ambassadors-designate affected include those of the Republic of Bangladesh, Egypt, Vietnam, Republic of Benin; Mexico; Greece; Togo and Thailand.

It was gathered that their letters of credence were specifically addressed to Buhari hence the inability of the ambassadors-designate to present them to Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

A senior official who requested anonymity indicated that the affected ambassadors-designate have been unable to perform their responsibilities since they arrived the country many weeks ago.

Sources told the PUNCH that one of the envoys, the Egyptian Ambassador-designate to Nigeria, Mr. Assem Hanafi and his Mexican counterpart, Mr. Alejandro Elizondo, had been unable to present their credential to Buhari since they arrived in the country.

It was learnt that the ambassadors-designate had not been given any appointment for the presentation of their credentials to the President on account of Buhari’s vacation in London.

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However, another government official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak on the matter, told the PUNCH that the Acting President is available to take up any assignment on behalf of the President.

“I am not aware of any ambassador not being able to start work. The Acting President is available to take on any assignment on behalf of Mr. President,” he said.

Furthermore, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, said he had directed the envoys to resume.

He, however, did not say when he gave the directive.

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