Posted by News Express | 21 February 2014 | 4,133 times
A pro-democracy group, the Forum for Good Governance and Sustainable Development, has called for the immediate resignation or sack of the Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, Chief Assam Assam, for what they called “reckless and inflammatory rhetoric” and “undiplomatic rant.”
In a statement titled ‘Ambassador Assam Assam: Resign Now Or Be Fired!’ the group flayed the ambassador for alleged derogatory statements about Nigeria he made in a recent interview and said it was unbecoming of a diplomat to speak ill against the country whose image he is supposed to protect.
Ambassador Assam had been quoted in the interview as saying: “Our children are dying on the streets. Our women are delivering children on the vestries of churches because of lack of confidence in our medical sector. Our people are going to native doctors because there is no healthcare.”
The Forum for Good Governance and Sustainable Development in the statement and signed by the Co-ordinator, Mr. Bassey Idiong and Secretary, Mr. Gabriel Prieye, described the above words as unbecoming of a diplomat of the status of the Nigerian Ambassador to Russia.
According to the group, “With this gaffe, how does Ambassador Assam expect the outside world to treat his country whose interest he is supposed to be representing? The least that is expected of him is for him to resign immediately or be fired for this diplomatic faux pas.”
The group also condemned Chief Assam’s claim that his posting to Russia as an ambassador was meant to scuttle his governorship ambition in Akwa Ibom State and wondered if he was coerced to accept the posting.
According to the statement, “By his recently published interview Ambassador Assam has admitted that he is very unhappy, disgruntled and grudgingly serving as Nigeria’s Ambassador to Russia.
“He has lost the little respect we had for him by claiming that his diplomatic posting, as the Nigerian Ambassador to Russia and Belarus, is punitive. Inadvertently, Ambassador Assam is admitting that he can be easily manipulated out of political contention and that he is a greedy and unprincipled person easy to be taken by any dangling bait.
“We call on President Jonathan to do the needful and boot Assam out of Russia before he permanently destroys Nigeria’s image. We cannot afford to have such an ingrate and disgruntled person squandering our hard earned slot in diplomatic postings while also tarnishing the new Akwa Ibom brand that Gov. Godswill Akpabio has worked hard to create.”
The Forum also carpeted the ambassador for his criticism of some policies of the administration of Chief Godswill Akpabio in Akwa Ibom State which he served as a commissioner before his posting.
It said: “We have known some politicians to be dishonest, but we could never have imagined that Chief Assam Assam, who until few months ago was a Commissioner in the administration of Governor Akpabio and a member of the state executive council, who had been full of praises and stoutly defended the policies of the administration, to engage in this kind of double speak. Where is his honour, where is his integrity?
“The best Akwa Ibom people can offer Assam is to ignore his rant and regard him as a political joker whose high nuisance factor can no longer be tolerated. Assam, having foreclosed his political clout and career in Akwa Ibom State, should spare himself future embarrassment by bowing out disgracefully.
“This time around, his attempt to bark himself into relevance has misfired because Governor Godswill Akpabio, with an unimpeachable record of good governance, is not Obong Victor Attah, whom he had similarly blackmailed. No reasonable person can now take Ambassador Assam seriously because his signature ritual of blackmailing second-term governors, to seek relevance in the in-coming administration has failed woefully. Akwa Ibom has gone far beyond Assam’s irascibility.”
The statement said and advised President Goodluck Jonathan to immediately relieve Ambassador Assam of his duty as a diplomat, claiming that his further stay in Russia would continue to hurt Nigeria’s image abroad.
•Photo shows Nigeria’s Ambassador to Russia, Chief Assam Assam.
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