The Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN), on Thursday, enjoined Nigerian Missions abroad to live up to their responsibility of making the welfare of Nigerians their primary concern.
ARCAN’s Second National Vice-President, Amb. Olusegun Akinsanya told newsmen in Lagos that it is important for Nigerians abroad to also always identify with their embassies in their host countries.
Akinsanya said that the protection of any country’s nationals in other countries had always been a high point in Nigeria’s foreign policy, as well as those of other nationalities.
“As part of our foreign policy, the welfare of Nigerians is and should be a key area of responsibility for foreign missions.
“We cannot fold our arms to see Nigerians suffer unduly in other countries. The welfare of Nigerians abroad should be a primary responsibility of our diplomatic missions abroad,’’ he said.
The former Nigerian Ambassador to Ethiopia, however, said that it would be difficult for an ambassador to protect the rights of any Nigerian caught with drugs or involved in other criminal offences.
Akinsanya said that it was imperative for the nation’s embassies to be able to draw a line between the welfare of Nigerians who travelled legally and informal migrants.
“We do know that it would be difficult to deal with a Nigerian caught with drugs or who killed a national of the host country.
“It is understood that laws of such foreign countries must take its course if any Nigerian is arrested for a drug-related offence, murder and other criminal offences,’’ he said.