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DIPLOMATIC FAUX PAS.

By Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai
Published August 20th, 2009

Diplomatic practice has established universally acceptable principles embedded in Diplomatic Law. From my observation, US-NIGERIAN diplomatic practice, in recent years, has not been based on the long-established rules of diplomatic Law.

I do not speak for the Federal Government of Nigeria on foreign policy or any policy for that matter. I am a humble citizen, who paid his taxes and pension contributions regularly, but has not been paid his gratuity, three years and two months after retirement, but whose patriotism is so irrepressible that I do not suffer the non-chalant attitude of lazy officials gladly.

From the ashes of my discontent with non-payment of my financial entitlements after 27 years of teaching at the Obafemi Awolowo University, I was rescued by the Max Planck Institute for International Law and Comparative Law, Heidelberg,( 2004-2005), Germany and Shandong University of Science and Technology, Qingdao, China, where I served as Professor of International Law, (2005-2008). Savings from my sweat in those institutions have kept me going.

I have visited PENCOM, AGF, NUC, many times, without any luck or any convincing explanation as to why I should starve. There is a demoralizing aspect in that no University Lectureship aspirant would be too enthusiastic after learning that you cannot receive your financial entitlements three years, two months after retirement! OH! HAD I KNOWN!

In order to act in a civil manner, and as a democrat, I swore to an Affidavit, in which, I Solemnly, reverently, judiciously and not maliciously, deposed that my patience was running out and that as Professor of Law, that I know how to defend my rights and cannot be cheated by institutions and corporate bodies that can detain my hard-earned funds by delaying tactics.

In order to let all the institutions responsible for the non-payment of my gratuities to be put on strict NOTICE, I also copied the PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC and COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES OF NIGERIA, to intervene.

As a result of my weighty arguments, I am confident that the President will act AD MISERICORDIAM and order the payment of my entitlements of twenty-seven years meritorious service to the ACADEMIA in Nigeria.

Yes, as I was saying, Nigerian -US diplomatic practice needs an appraisal and a turn-around. During the visit of George W. Bush, during the reign of Olusegun Obasanjo, the later was literally shoved off the stage, when George Bush entered the hall!

George Bush hurriedly delivered his speech and was driven straight to the Abuja airport and his plane taxied and took off into the Abuja blue skies. His visit was marred by a diplomatic row between Nigerian and US Security operatives.

The recent visit by US Secretary of State, Mrs. Hillary Clinton to Nigeria was not-so-hilarious because again, there was a diplomatic faux pas on both sides.

Diplomatic relations thrive on the acceptance of generally acknowledged rule of jus cogens, comitias gentium, mutuality, equality and especially reciprocity. This is not the place to recount the various articles of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Practice of 1961.

There are diplomatic practices which existed before the American Revolution and Nigerian independence in 1960.

In diplomatic practice, there is a Code for Ambassadors, which defines the ranks of Diplomatic agents. The Foreign Minister is the Chief diplomat, so to speak.

If the Foreign Minister of the small island of Mauritius visits the “Giant of Africa,” the giant Foreign Minister of Nigeria MUST go and receive the small island of Mauritius Foreign Minister, at the airport or sea-port himself. That is diplomatic etiquette.

This operates under the Roman maxim,” Par in parem non habet imperium.”This means that among equal entities none has imperial powers.

In international law, all sovereign states are deemed to be equal and independent.

Some diplomatic observers informed me that when the Nigerian Foreign Minister, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, visited Washington, sometime ago, he was not received by the US Secretary of State, but by a lesser official.

According to the doctrine of reciprocity, the Nigerian Foreign Minister “was not disposed to receive” the US Secretary of State at the airport in Abuja.

Also security arrangements were hi-jacked by the US mission. There is a clear usurpation of the sovereign powers of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The Nigeria-US relations should be put back on an even keel. Applying the Mosaic law of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.” would not be helpful.

I affirm that health-care is human rights. CNN and other US media seem to be enamoured with Mr. Limbaugh’s diatribes, which he airs, in concupiscent fashion. His fixated views are crudely expressed in undiplomatic, inelegant prose, which hurt more than an abominable indigestion.

His childhood seems to have been turbulent and distressing. In his old age, he and other political mal-contents seem decided in turning his country into a land of crafty despotism by alleging socialist moorings by the Obama administration.

Recently, he has learned to stir up hate using jest and caricature.

McCarthyism cannot be revived and the Ku Klux Klan, White Brotherhood, having been converted by the HOLY SPIRIT, now pursues sublime and graceful projects.

Health-care, a human right cannot be stoked into sensations about money and speculations. Reasonable Americans must turn away from stern despots riding on whirlwind and thunderclaps, standing on lonely sinking sand, brandishing their hate effigies.

Disturbing reports about gun-totting hoodlums, talking menacingly, in reaction to the President’s policies, need to be taken seriously.

Limbaugh’s hate noises are growing louder, drenching President Obama, with harsh words from a watering place. For this, he has drawn a lot of flak from the Christian right.

But since most Americans love jokes and trivia, Limbaugh may continue to find some NERDS, who will continue to clap. The man, Limbaugh, whose youth appears to have been repressed by adenoids, seems to have grown up in the bosom of a conservative family, linked by echoes of the Ku Klux Klan.

I would end this piece on my Pencom & co story. It is making the rounds that PENCOM & Co rightly invested funds on shares, but unfortunately, the Wizard of OX, waved the magic wand and pronto….!

The shares craze has resulted in bad economic management in the micro economic sect.

I must appeal to the governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank to be very sure about the move against major banks in Nigeria. The Bank’s intervention in financial contractual relations must be meticulously vetted with the Boards and stakeholders.

The international financial standing of the Federal Republic of Nigeria may be irremediably damaged, if we lump the genuine borrower and businessman with the unserious and gold-diggers. The CBN should err on the side of caution.

On PENCOM&Co, I refused to believe that our pension and gratuities had been used for speculative ventures until SANUSI&Co hinted that one cannot relish a boiled egg, in which one has expressed doubts.

Since I believe that MY REDEEMER liveth, HE will not allow financial speculators, jeep-riding Damaging Directors to use my hard-earned gratuity to be an object of self-enrichment.

May their shadows ever grow less

If they were ever taught by teachers

May they become idiots, forgetting all they learned

May their children never pass examinations

As an intercessor, I call on GOD ALMIGHTY to dethrone

All those, who have detained a pensioner’s only means of liveli-hood in this MAMMON-CONTROLLED, AGBATA-EKE REPUBLIC of ours,

The EFCC will confront them. The EFCC will pursue them and the wrath of the MOST HIGH GOD will not relent for I am a Priest forever according to the Order of Melchizedek.

My GOD will ever be mindful of His Covenant. In the past, HE dealt with my enemies.

In pursuit of my hard-earned gratuities, HE will deal with all those, who have wickedly with-held my funds.

My LORD, My GOD do not keep silent

Oh GOD of my praise

For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful

Have opened up against me……

Set a wicked man over him

And let an accuser stand at his right hand.

When he is judged let him be found guilty

And let his prayer become sin

Let his days be few

And let another take his office…..

Because he did not remember to show mercy

But persecuted the poor and needy man…….”

He will know no mercy.

The diplomatic faux pas, the injustice of the non-payment of my pension, are issues that need amicable resolution.

Professor Dr. Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai is the Academic Chancellor, BOSAS INTERNATIONAL LAW Bureau, Abuja, FCT, Nigeria.
 


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