Nigeria’s UN Mission Embarrasses President Buhari


Nigeria’s notorious Permanent Mission to the United Nations, lead by Ambassador Joy Ogwu, has reportedly mismanaged President Buhari’s official schedule resulting in several missed opportunities and embarrassing moments for the President and his official delegation.

Early Saturday Reuters news agency reported that Nigeria had no official representation at a High Level Meeting on insecurity and displaced people in the Lake Chad Basin region. Nigeria was the only major player not present during the meeting, which was organized by the United Nations Under-Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien, which resulted in international diplomats to say they were disappointed in Nigeria’s conduct.

A Nigerian official speaking on the condition of anonymity with a SaharaReporters correspondent on Saturday said that “at the very least the National Security Adviser should have been present at the meeting.” The NSA Major General (Rtd) Monguno is attached the President Buhari’s official delegation.

The Cable reported today that President Buhari “was also prevented from meeting with Pope Francis because he was not properly briefed by the Nigerian UN mission staff.”

The Cable report continued saying, “the pope delivered a speech at the general assembly on Friday at 10am. Not only was Buhari made to come in late to the meeting because of untidy arrangements, he also took a wrong gate rather than the one reserved for presidents and heads of state. He was subsequently prevented from seeing the pope by security operatives because of his late arrival.”

SaharaReporters spoke with a high level member of President Buhari’s official delegation, who asked that we not use their name, who told our correspondent “the President did have problems with accreditation before the Pope’s speech.” He added “the protocol officers were not adequately briefed.”

SaharaReporters has since learned that protocol and accreditation is the responsibility of Nigeria’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations.

SaharaReporters obtained the official schedule of President Buhari and members of his delegation which did not have the High Level meeting between the Lake Chad Basin official and the top UN Aid Chief Mr. O’Brien.

This same high-level source confirmed to our SaharaReporters correspondent that it was Ambassador Ogwu’s office who developed the schedule and it was her office that chose not to place that High Level meeting on it.

This source told SaharaReporters by phone that “if I had to say it, many members of the [official Nigeria] delegation are not happy. Could things have been better organized? Yes.”

SaharaReporters has also spoke with other members of the delegation who place these blunders on the shoulders of the Nigerian Mission to the UN and Ambassador Joy Ogwu for not adequately briefing the President or coordinating his visit.

This diplomatic debacle seems to be the latest in a series confronting President Buhari and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In July of this year, during President Buhari’s Official State Visit to the United States, hundreds of Nigerians were locked out of their embassy during a public forum—many of whom had official invitations from the embassy. The embarrassing events taking place this weekend at the United Nations comes two weeks after President Buhari announced major shake-ups in the management of foreign missions throughout the world.

SaharaReporters tried repeatedly to contact Ambassador Joy Ogwu and her office however our calls and texts were not immediately answered.

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