By Chinedu Onyejelem
The Nigerian Ambassador to Ireland has been recalled following a decision by the country’s new president Muhammadu Buhari to sack all non-career diplomats appointed by his predecessor.
Speaking to Metro Éireann, Olusola Iginla, chargé d’affaires of the Nigerian Embassy in Dublin, confirmed that Dr Bolere Elizabeth Ketebu is no longer the Ambassador to Ireland and Iceland, having retuned to Nigeria on Tuesday 25 August.
Dr Ketebu spent just over one year as ambassador, having presented her credentials to President Michael D. Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin on 24 June 2014.
More recently, as reported by Metro Éireann, Dr Ketebu was stopped and “humiliated” by an immigration officer when she arrived at Dublin Airport on 1 May despite having a full diplomatic cover. However, she later received an apology from the Department of Justice.
During her short tenure, Dr Ketebu attempted to promote Nigeria in a positive light and as a place to do business.
Speaking in February this year at a Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade debate, Dr Ketebu hailed the increase in “business interaction and activity between Ireland and Nigeria” and said she was “working in tandem and co-operating and collaborating well with” the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria, Sean Hoy.
Dr Ketebu was also outspoken against the ongoing challenge of the Boko Haram militancy in northern Nigeria.
“Those who go to a market place and explode bombs to kill Christians and Muslims, not caring who is there, are not fighting the Government,” she said. “They attack and break into bank strong rooms and loot the moneys that are there and that is not out of anger against the Government. Boko Haram must be taken as it is and acknowledge for what it is.”