A former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bolaji Akinyemi has asked the government not to blame the evacuation crisis of Nigerians from Sudan on Egypt.
Akinyemi stated this while speaking in an interview with Arise TV on Monday.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs said Nigeria should not blame Egypt “for our own dysfunctionality.”
According to him, the federal government must empower the ministry to avoid repeating the diplomatic issues that happened at the Egyptian border during the evacuation of Nigerians from Sudan.
He faulted the arrangement of the Nigerian government in the evacuation process adding that “it does not make sense.”
Akinyemi said, “I’m not happy about the dysfunctionality of the arrangements in Nigeria. Egypt knows only one institution of diplomacy when dealing with Nigeria and that is ministry of foreign affairs.
“That is why we opened an embassy there. So that those that we entrust with those functions would also know the rules on the ground.
“But then, we bring in the NiDCOM and ministry of humanitarian affairs — bodies that Egypt might not have had any relationship with. They now start influencing what will happen in Egypt. It does not make sense.
“Don’t let us blame Egypt for our own dysfunctionality. Empower the ministry of foreign affairs to do its job.
“Then, we can complain if they are derelict in doing that job or not doing it effectively. Interposing the diaspora commission in the foreign field is only going to lead to the kind of problem that we saw.”
Recall that on May 1, the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) said the Egyptian authorities were refusing access to Nigerian evacuees from the civil unrest in Sudan.
The commission added that Egyptian authorities were insisting on visas from the fleeing Nigerians who were being evacuated by buses to the country’s border before their eventual movement to Nigeria.
But, NiDCOM later announced that the North African country had made a U-turn and opened its borders to the Nigerians after President Muhammadu Buhari spoke with Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Egyptian president.
Also speaking on the development, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said the green chamber would look into the immediate circumstances that led to the hard “diplomatic stance” of the Egyptian authorities.