FG Gives Reasons For Suspension Of Permanent Secretary

FG Gives Reasons For Suspension Of Permanent Secretary

The Federal Government has explained why President Goodluck Jonathan decided to suspend the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Danjuma Sheni, instead of dealing with the minister, Ambassador Aminu Wali.

It said that the embattled permanent secretary is the accounting officer of the ministry and not the minister, therefore, he had no authority to invite Nigeria’s envoy to South Africa to the country.

Leadership reports, that Patricia Akwashiki, the minister of information, and her national planning counterpart, Abubakar Suleiman, explained this after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting held on April 29, 2015.

Responding to a question why the minister of foreign affairs was not held to account since this is the second embarrassment he was causing the nation, Suleiman said:

“The issue of the permanent secretary of Foreign Affairs Ministry was discussed in council and Mr. President made it very clear that as a president and indeed a government, you don’t allow any of the political functionaries or civil servants to mess the government up”.

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“The way and manner the South Africa/Nigeria subtle face off was handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and in particular the suspended permanent secretary did not go down well with Mr. President and indeed his government, and as a government, we took a decision to suspend the permanent secretary pending investigation as to what transpired”.

Asked why the permanent secretary was singled out for disciplinary action instead of the minister, Akwashiki said:

“I don’t think is difficult to hold him. The way you put it was exactly the President’s summary of the event that has happened, beginning with phone call to the King of Morocco or no phone call.

“It is in line with that that the president has now wielded the big stick by suspending the permanent secretary because it has happened. The minister wasn’t even in the country. He was out of the country on international programme when it happened. The minister is the minister, the permanent secretary is the accounting officer in the ministry. So, the stick had to fall on him”. 

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It would be recalled that the president ordered the suspension of the permanent secretary on April 27, 2015 and directed to clarify why disciplinary action should not be taken against him for embarrassing the Nigerian government.

The source who pleaded anonymity said that Jonathan was “livid with anger” when he read about the recall of the Nigerian Charge De Affairs who is also the head of mission without his authorization.

Nigeria presently does not have an ambassador in South Africa.

Source: Legit.ng

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