Nigeria Threatens Indonesia over Diplomat’s Assault
By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government of Nigeria has threatened to review its relationship with Indonesia following an assault on a Nigerian diplomat by the country’s immigration officials.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffry Onyeama, gave this threat at a briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said as a result of the ugly incident, the nation’s Ambassador to Indonesia has been summoned to give a detailed account of the assault, which has sparked outrage after a video of it went viral on Monday.
Mr Onyeama said, “There was absolutely no justification whatsoever for this kind of behaviour against not only a Nigerian diplomat but any Nigerian at all. It was totally unacceptable.
“What we have decided to do is to recall (for consultations immediately), our Nigerian ambassador in Jakarta in Indonesia and we will have full consultations at the highest level and decide what next steps to take including a review of our relations with Indonesia.”
Mr Onyeama’s briefing is a follow-up to Monday’s statement by his Ministry condemning the assault.
In that statement, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria has apologised and that the immigration officials involved had also visited the Nigerian Embassy in Indonesia to apologise to the diplomat.
But Mr Onyeama told journalists in Abuja that the federal government wanted stronger action to be taken by the Indonesian government.
The officials must be sanctioned, he said, adding that Indonesia’s failure to do so will have consequences for the relationship between both countries.
Yesterday, a video of the incident which went viral showed at least three men, identified later as immigration officials, in a vehicle assaulting the Nigerian diplomat and ignoring his screams of pain.
While two of the men held his hands and pinned him down in the backseat, another freely assaulted his unprotected head as he cried out in pain.
“The unfortunate incident is against international law and the Vienna Conventions governing Diplomatic and Consular Relations between states,” the Nigerian Foreign Affairs Ministry said in its statement on Monday.
It also noted that the Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria who was summoned by the Foreign Affairs Minister had apologised.
“The Ambassador explained what he understood happened and apologised unreservedly on behalf of the Government of Indonesia.
“The Nigerian government has sent an official protest to the Government of Indonesia,” the ministry said.