The Nigerian Community in Cote d’Ivoire has rejected calls for the recall of the Nigerian Consular Officer in the country’s capital, Abidjan, Mr Damilola Olufemi.
The community in a statement signed by its President and Secretary General, Messrs Emeka Onwuchelu and Izuchukwu Dike-Ononiwu respectively, said allegations against Abikoye were untrue and ill-conceived.
There had been calls by some Nigerians living in Cote D’Ivoire demanding the recall of Abikoye over what has been described as diplomatic breaches.
But the Nigerian community, led by Onwuchelu and Dike-Ononiwu said the attacks and calls for Abikoye’s recall should be ignored as it neither represents the opinions of Nigerians in that county nor their collective interest.
The group said: “The Consular Officer, Mr Damilola Olufemi Abikoye is a man of integrity who has been working assiduously and should be commended for his unalloyed cooperation with the current administration of the Nigerian Community.
“The relationship has helped to restore sanity, achieve a more cordial relationship among the citizens and see to their holistic welfare.
“On Consular Identity Card, it is the responsibility of the Nigerian Embassy to dictate the mode of identification for its citizens in Cote d’Ivoire, the decision to change from an analogue to a biometric one lies solely with the Embassy,
“We hereby appeal to the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs to disregard this petition against Abikoye and investigate this set of individuals and see that they are called to account for their activities and the embarrassment they cause the country,” it stated.
The allegations against Abikoye include blocking the use of biometric identification for Nigerians living in Cote D’Ivoire, preferring analogue identification, which many said had been used to rip off Nigerians.
But the group clarified that the mode of identification for citizens of a country was the prerogative of the embassy and the government of a country and not the Consular Officer.