Celebrating Qatar’s Leaked Memo Disrespectful, Frank Nweke Tells Nigerians

Former minister of information, Frank Nweke Jr, has cautioned Nigerians against celebrating the diplomatic debacle between Qatar and Nigeria.

Some Nigerians have been on social media making ridicule of the country after a memorial from Qatar leaked on social media. According to the memo, the Middle Eastern country turned down a request to visit made by President Bola Tinubu.

In a statement titled, ‘The Qatari Note Verbale: Nigeria’s latest Diplomatic Debacle,’ Nweke described Nigerians’ reaction to the leaked memo as disrespectful.

He said, “As a Nigerian, I find the correspondence between the embassy of Qatar in Nigeria and Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs currently circulating online, embarrassing. It is an insult to our nation.

“Relevant authorities should investigate the source and intent of this leak and take steps to ensure that it does not happen again.

“There is no contesting that our government has a responsibility to manage our national affairs with savvy, reflecting deep knowledge and understanding of diplomatic protocols and norms, it is however impolitic for any nation to disrespect a purportedly ‘friendly’ nation through its communication, or any other channel for that matter, in the way that Qatar has done, however muted the attempt.

“I call on Nigerians who think that this act of ridicule against our nation is justified and worthy of celebration to have a rethink. It is not. It is indeed very disrespectful to our nation and people.

“Being outside the government, we may never know the full facts, but the tone and use of language in the circulating document, however factual, is most discourteous and calculated to undermine Nigeria’s image.

“I anticipate a serious review of this situation by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, and his offer of dispassionate advice to Mr President to postpone this visit to enable proper planning in order for Nigeria to obtain the best outcomes from the visit, at a future date.

“I must, however, call on our government to get its acts together. The discourtesy and disrespect to our government and citizens around the world is on account of the perception of our country at this time, as weak, disorganized, and corrupt.

“Respect can neither be conjured nor decreed. It can only be earned, especially in the international arena through hard work – good governance at home, a strong economy and people centered development, a secure and stable polity, respect for human rights and the rule of law, a manifest abhorrence for corruption and consistent respect for international laws and fulfillment of legitimate international obligations.

“As we secure our country and rebuild our economy, perception of Nigeria’s circumstances will change based on reality, countries will naturally become more circumspect in their engagement with our government and respect for our passport and our people will grow.”

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