NIGERIAN EMBASSY IN WASHINGTON NEEDS A THOROUGH CLEANING
It is high that time Mr. Jonathan, the Nigerian President, cleaned up the Nigerian embassy in Washington, DC. And he should do it completely and quickly. He should do it today.
Here are the reasons:
1. Mr. Adefuye, the Nigerian ambassador to the US, has lost complete control of the embassy. He cannot control the staff, the documents, the information or even the security in the embassy
- Item. Mr. Bolaji Aluko has deep throat sources in the embassy, who tell him about the pressures the ambassador has from visiting Nigerian politicians, he has agents who give him documents, he can tell to the minutest details what is happening at the embassy up to the latest minute. Yet he had never worked at the embassy and does not work there now. In Fact he is 6,000 miles from the embassy.
- Item. Mr. Ugwuonye has an equally deeply embedded source at the embassy. He knows who is coming and who is going; he knows who operates which accounts and what the balances are; how much money is withdrawn and by who. Things even the ambassador may not know immediately.
- Item. Mr. Sowore has deep sources in the embassy just like his other comrades. He knows what is in the filing cabinets; in computer hardware; he knows who is working on what project; and what communications go on between Nigeria and US governments. He even knows the ambassadors’ movements including what goes on in his brain.
- Item. Mr. Asiwe of Huhuonline has equal or greater access to the goings on in the embassy. He can write a piece and update it as events move ahead. One sometimes wonders if he actually writes from the embassy.
- Item. Nigeria’s Foreign Minister has an independent source in the embassy that is not the ambassador’s. Information also reaches him from other than direct channels. He constantly has to cross check the official communication with his own trusted sources.
- Item. American agents: CIA, FBI, Banks, etc have direct knowledge of what is happening at the embassy, probably more than the Nigerian Foreign Minister and therefore the president has.
- Item. Afis has his sources too
- And who knows who else has unimpeded access?
2. Given all the above Mr. Adefuye cannot run the embassy because he knows that he is surrounded by untrustworthy staff. He has lost completely the ability to influence policy and discussions and his communications with the staff is bound to be less than honest. Honesty and trust are the major ties that bind a manger and staff. When I was a manager, I signed off on any documents presented to me by my staff believing that no traps have been wired into the documents. Mr. Adefuye would be stupid to just sign off documents with out proper reading and understanding of every piece of paper on his desk. That makes him a clerk. He must reconsider every piece of advice he receives from his subordinates or the sources for Aluko, Ugwuonye, et al would ambush him and set him up for a kill. The staff also no longer believes that Mr. Adefuye would protect them. The distrust is usually mutual.
The team has stopped serving Nigeria and is now serving their various pay masters.
It is time to clean the house.
3. Mr. Jonathan has asked the EFCC to look into what is happening at the embassy. The embassy staff cannot be in charge while the audit is ongoing. They all have to leave or they would be obstructing the investigation by tampering with implicating evidence and covering their behinds; they would be leading the EFCC personnel to where they may not want to go themselves but where their “enemies” are hiding; etc.
EFCC needs a clean space to work from.
4. An ambassador has two primary responsibilities. He has responsibility to protect the interests of his country in US and to explain to both US and Nigeria the intentions of each. The ambassador is an interpreter. Mr. Adefuye may still be doing his interpretation work well, but his other responsibility of protecting the interests of Nigeria and Nigerians in US has been much compromised. He has lost the respect of a strong segment of Diaspora Nigerians especially that of the Igbo population and some other minority populations. They no longer see in him as one who could arbitrate issues without prejudice.
He has allowed himself to be painted as a “Yoruba” ambassador.
I will shortly celebrate my 40 years in US but I have never known an ambassador so tinged. Not even Rotimi. There is no respect for the office anymore.
It is time to clean house.
HOW TO CLEAN THIS HOUSE.
(a) The first step is for Mr. Jonathan or the foreign minster to invite Mr. Adefuye back to Nigeria for consultations. When he is back he would not be allowed to go back. He would be detained and would be asked to bring back his family. And the family would be asked to vacate their private quarters within 48 hours. Mr. Adefuye’s office would be locked and his personal effects in his office and his quarters would be shipped back to him by contractors. This way he would not be able to “do some cleaning up.”
(b) His entire staff would be also recalled just as dramatically. By staff I mean everybody from the Deputy Ambassador to the lowest level clerk. There should be no institutional memory left to educate their successors except what is available at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abuja. Even the night cleaning crew should be changed A clean break would be needed. The reason for this level of purging is that any person remaining would still owe allegiance to somebody gone and would be a source of problem for the incoming crew.
(c) Many of the equipment now in the embassy, including computers would need to be removed and replaced so that all the bugs planted by Aluko, Ugwuonye, Sowore, Asiwe, CIA, etc would be cleaned out thoroughly.
(d) Their sources ought to destroyed forever or until they replant them.
HOW TO RESTAFF THE NEW EMBASSY.
The new ambassador should not be an Igbo or Yoruba. Mr. Jonathan should find a Nigerian who is not one of the troublesome ethnic nationalities preferably a minority, Efik, Tiv. Edo, Ibibio, Kanuri, Igalla, etc would be just fine. If no one is found a Hausa/Fulani would do. The same would be recommended for the other senior staff positions even all the way down to much lower levels. Nigeria can run pretty well without the distraction of Igbo and Yoruba. Look at Akwa Ibom and Cross River states to see proof.
This call for a clean sweep is coming from one who loves Nigeria and believes that the mess in Washington DC is too putrid for Nigerians to endure one second longer. The mess was not started by Mr. Adefuye. But he is the captain of the ship at the time that it sank. As the embassy is cleaned, Mr. Jonathan should take a good look at his Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Why did he not see what was going on in DC? What did he do if he saw it? Did he, in any way, encourage the anarchy? Is he capable? Washington is the most important foreign office (with the possible exception of NY, UN Mission), if so how come that the minister was not aware of the mess until the banks started closing Nigerian accounts?
Keeping information at the Nigerian DC embassy is the same as pouring water into a basket.
It is time to clean up this mess.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
July 9, 2012