By Lizzy Okoji
The Association of Foreign Relations Professionals of Nigeria (AFRPN) has urged the Federal Government to demand justice for the killing of its citizens living abroad in line with the country’s foreign policy.
President of AFRPN, Amb. Gani Lawal, gave the advice on Thursday in Abuja during a pre-event briefing on the Second Annual Lecture of the association scheduled to hold on July 31 in Abuja.
Lawal said that one of the objectives of Nigeria’s foreign policy was for the government to ensure the protection of Nigerians living in other countries and to demand for justice in the case of death or harm.
According to Lawal, the Foreign Policy of any nation should be in line with maintaining international peace and security.
“If you look at the foreign policy objectives of Nigeria, one of it is to protect the lives of Nigerians all over the world.
“Our foreign policy is woven around the protection of Nigerians, but where there are individual cases, we would have to look at individual cases and find out what is responsible for it and deal with it squarely.
“Such instances as the killing of Nigerians in South Africa and other countries as a result of some area boys going around because of jealousy of Nigerians doing well.
“In terms of government response, it is to ensure that culprits are brought to book and dealt with decisively in order to serve as deterrence to would be attackers.
“That is what Foreign Policy can do – to demand from the governments of those countries where Nigerians are being killed and ask for restitution for the families of those killed.
“There have been occasions where we did that through our foreign policy, asking that those people, who are involved must be dealt with and there must be a way of pacifying the families concerned,” Lawal said.
Lawal said that frank discussions on Nigeria’s Foreign Policy making would feature in the course of the workshop to come up with the way forward going by the caliber of the guest lecturer and participants.
He said that in its first year of operation, the AFRPN launched its first peer review journal and this year, the workshop would also be brainstorming on Foreign Policy which is a direct outgrowth of domestic policy.
He added that the objectives of the association was to impact in a professional way the foreign policy formulation and implementation of Nigeria to further enhance and make Nigeria a respected voice in the international arena.
Also speaking, Amb. Ridhwan Mustapha, a former Nigerian Ambassador to Pakistan, said it was the duty of the Federal Government to guarantee the protection of every Nigerian wherever they might be.
Mustapha also said that wherever any incident happened involving any Nigerian, it behooved on the government and Nigerians in that country to handle the matter.
He added that the government had always cared for the safety of the lives of Nigerians wherever they might be.
“Nobody is happy about what is happening in the South Africa we’re talking about; nobody is happy.
“Nigerians are not happy; the government is not happy because it is unfair.
“Nigeria has done a lot for South Africa,” Mustapha said.
According to him, it is the responsibility of every government to protect its citizens.
He said that the forthcoming workshop would create a platform to further reflect on Nigeria’s Foreign Policies, “what has been, what it is, and what is likely to be”.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 2019 workshop with the theme `Theory and Reality in Nigeria’s Foreign Policy Making: Some further reflections’, will be Chaired by Amb. Babagana Kingibe with former ministers of foreign affairs in attendance.