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Bolaji Akinyemi: We Should Not Blame Egypt For Nigeria’s Dysfunctionality

He said the ministry of foreign affairs should be allowed to do its³ job rather than putting other bodies in the forefront.

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Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Nigeria’s former Minister for Foreign Affairs, has said that the issue that the returning Nigerians from Sudan had at the Cairo International Airport was no fault of Egypt’s.

In an interview with ARISE NEWS on Monday, Akinyemi said that the issues that Nigerians faced at the Cairo International airport were easily preventable, however, there were people who decided to go out of line of the rules that had been given to them. He said, “My problem with Nigerians is always these cutting corners, disobeying the law.”

In a bid to explain the actual situation, Akinyemi revealed that Nigerians had not been allowed to depart from the airport due to the Egyptians looking out for their country’s security. “Two Nigerians disappeared from the tarmac, and Egypt has … security problems, and I’m sure they will like to monitor who comes out of Egypt and who goes out of Egypt.” He then explained that due to this, the Egyptian authorities ordered for Nigerians to remain grounded until the missing people had been discovered, so as to ensure safety and orderliness.

The former minister then said, “I’m not happy about the dysfunctionality of the arrangements in Nigeria,” as he said that most issues could be avoided if the foreign affairs were on ground and did their work as they should have. He explained that the only body that Egypt recognized was the ministry of foreign affairs, however, the Nigerians In Diaspora Commission took care of this issue, which caused confusion between the countries.  

Akinyemi then said, “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 they are 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.”

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi