Flawed projection: Limiting political leanings in ambassadorial appointments


Image building has remained a key instrument to navigating goodwill and projecting interest when international politics are placed on the analytical table of diplomatic relations. The essentials to be projected in good light and perceived correspondingly, is firmly in the grasps of nations which really do understand the importance of this perception. Such nations are carefully and strategically guided in projecting their interests in the international realm through conscious drive and informed tactics premised on vibrant policies driven by seasoned diplomats. To those nations, taking international diplomacy for granted translates to weakening their popularity and chances of wide acceptance across the world. Pathetically however, the music tune may seem to be on a counter-directional rhythm in Nigeria.

On the floor of the Senate on Wednesday was the request of President Buhari  seeking from the upper chamber,  the approval and  confirmation of 42 ambassadorial nominees. However, among the nominees only one of the nominees from the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, was appointed as career ambassador, while the rest are non-career nominees.

The question one would need to ask is if the Government is really prepared and interested in rebuilding the dampened and soiled image of the Country among the committee of nations, while working to push its interest vigorously. It is important to state that diplomatic efficacy and proficiency should not be sacrificed for political yearnings and patronage. Should the Presidency continue to subject key positions that require professional acumen to political patronage and interest, the Country risks navigating backwards in critical matters, particularly when emphasis is laid on its stand in the international system.

A critical analysis of the Country’s strength in the international system would in an unbiased evaluation reveal that its perception in the international realm weighs stronger towards the negative view than the positive. Redeeming the Country’s image is paramount in pushing its interest forward in the international system and being reckless with appointments of those who would be representing the Country in other nations of the world is a negative omen.

The pressing demand for the Country’s image to be embellished with bright colours requires that the Presidency sniff for seasoned diplomats who have a track record of professionalism and indepth understanding of how diplomatic relations run. In as much as the possibilities of appointing non-career ambassadors cannot be totally left out of the game, the need to balance the draft is mostly essential. The ratio of career to non-career ambassadorial appointments by successive administration has over  time been pitiful,imbalanced. The essentials for a systemic turn is highly paramount as the need to vitalise the Country’s image for better perception in the international realm is particularly pressing.