Foreign Affairs Experts have called for improved security at Nigeria’s high commissions and embassies around the world, following recent attacks on Nigerian high commission in Ghana and its embassy in Indonesia.
These attacks are in clear violation of the provisions of the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
According to the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations of 1961, the private residence of a diplomatic agent shall enjoy the same inviolability and protection as the premises of the mission.
Article 22 also says a host country must protect the mission from intrusion or damage.
The recent attacks on Nigeria’s High Commission in Accra, Ghana and its embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia depict there are lapses in the security structure of Nigeria’s missions abroad
In the past, Nigeria’s high commission in London was attacked by angry Nigerians, the same has happened in Senegal, Congo and a host of other countries
Though these acts have always been condemned, Nigeria must take responsibility for fortifying its missions abroad as the security provided by host countries is usually inadequate.
A foreign affairs analyst who spoke under anonymity said Nigeria needs to revive the Chancery guards it phased out.
Chancery guards were security officers posted to Nigerian mission abroad to provide extra security in addition to the ones provided by the host country. That would be a tall order considering the fact that Nigeria is presently finding it difficult to fund its foreign missions
A member of the House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs confirms that funding has always been a great challenge. This, he said, has had a negative impact on the image of the nation.
There are wide ranging security challenges worldwide which may put Nigeria’s diplomatic missions and officers who serve there at risk if Nigeria does not consider beefing up security.
As the attack on the Embassy in Indonesia has shown, enhanced security will help repel aggression from either from hoodlums, disgruntled nationals or organised criminals.