From Jonas Ike, Abuja
Nigeria’s Foreign Service Academy on Friday 10th May 2019 rounded up its rounded up its nine months training program in a colourful closing ceremony in Badagry, Lagos.
The closing ceremony which was well attended enjoyed the presence of the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, H. E. Geoffrey Onyeama, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Mustapha Lawal Sulaiman, DG National Intelligence Agency Ahmed Rufai and a host of other Government dignitaries from both the academia including traditional rulers.
The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs in his remarks said that Nigeria believe in dialogue and diplomacy as a means of conflict resolution and this is the reason why so many countries want Nigeria to be part of whatever they are doing either to promote peace in particular area.
Honourable Minister also described Nigeria as a country that has no natural enemy but committed to forging peace and stability among African and other countries through its foreign policy.
The Minister added that Nigeria was one of the friendliest countries, therefore Foreign Policy should not be seen as an academic exercise but should be about concrete result, about real action not about flamboyant.
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According to the Minister, what we have we do that always makes us unique in the world is that we have no natural enemy as a country. We are friendly with all the countries of the world and that in itself is a huge achievement to be able to live at peace with all countries and that is an important component of our foreign policy.
The Minister congratulated the 23rd Regular Course graduands for successfully completing their studies at the academy and urged them to be good representatives of Nigeria in the course of their diplomatic service in the future and charged them to be selfless and ensure that they positively project the good image of Nigeria and Africa to the rest of the world.
He stated that having made a sustainable great stride in asserting herself as one of the leading democracies in Africa and the world, the government, through the young diplomats is working on changing the negative narratives about our country in recent years.
In view of this, there is the need to project what we know to be the real Nigeria, true Nigerians, people of humaneness who value brotherhood, this has always been part of us, part of who we are and part of our culture.
Furthermore, he urged the young diplomats to use their noble ideas and knowledge to represent Nigeria, bearing in mind that these are turbulent and challenging times. He emphasized that as the young officers are making a grand entrance into the global stage, “Nigeria, our country and Africa expect much from them, hence they should work hard and stay focused in their assignments.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Mustapha Sulaiman, in his remarks charged the graduands to be focused in promoting the interest of Nigeria as diplomats. According to him, the Foreign Service is elite by nature and reserved for the intellectual who are committed to serving their fatherland. He therefore warned that the foreign service is not an avenue for personal aggrandizement or quick financial enrichment, but it is rather a call to service.
The Permanent Secretary also stressed that as representatives of Nigeria, the officers must not be seen to be apologetic for the policy and decisions of Nigeria but rather endeavour to explain and defend the country’s position on issues as they unfold. He also stated that as diplomats, the protection of Nigeria’s interest remains their core assignment in the committee of nations.
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