The Association of Retired Career Ambassadors of Nigeria (ARCAN) as part of series of events to mark the 60th Independence Anniversary of Nigeria, on 1st October, 2020 honoured some prominent members of the Association for their distinguished service to the nation as Career Ambassadors during their service in the Nigerian Diplomatic Service and to the association.
According to the Publicity Secretary of ARCAN, Amb Folorunso Olukayode Otukoya, those honoured and awarded with Plaques and rich Citations were the following:
1). Amb. Ignatius C. Olisemeka, former Amb to US, Canada, Israel and first Career Amb to serve as Foreign Minister
2. Ambassador Abdullahi Ibrahim ATTA, former High Commissioner to Canada, Ambassador to Cuba and Head of the Intelligence Service
3. Amb.Omotayo Ogunsulire: one of the twelve recruited Career Diplomats and former Ambassador to Republic of Congo Leopoldville (DRC)
4. Amb. Olusola Sanu former Amb to AU, Washington DC, High Commissioner to Australia and Special Envoy to the Sudan Peace Process; and
5. Amb. B. Akporode Clark, former Permanent Representative to the UN.
DIAMOND AWARDS were given to the following :
1. Amb. Oladapo Fafowora , former Deputy Permanent Representative to UN New York and Pioneer ARCAN President;
2 ). Ambassador Isaac Sagay. Former Amb to Spain and former Chairman ARCAN Abuja.
3). Amb. Jibrin Chinade: former Permanent Secretary and Amb to Moscow, Russia
He said ARCAN also held a series of Virtual lectures and Webinars with prominent personalities and stakeholders in the field of Foreign policy and International Affairs featuring former Foreign Ministers, Prof Bolaji Akinyemi and Mr Odein Ajumogobia, SAN, Professor George Obiozor and Professor Akin Oyebode.
They were joined by some Executive members of the Association in the persons of President of the Association Amb John Shinkaiye, the First National Vice President and Chairman of Lagos Chapter of ARCAN Amb Segun Akinsanya and Ambassador Joe Keshi Second National Vice President.
There were many others from the academia such as Professor W. Alade Fawole , Professor Kingsley Moghalu, Dr. Vanessa IWOWO and clerics like Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah and Doctor Usman Bugaje .
They each took the virtual platform as distinguished speakers, to examine the Nigerian project from the perspectives of nation building, national identity, unity, international role, impediments of development and deepening of democracy.
Discussions and interventions during the events (which spanned several days ) underscored the pivotal role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the articulation and implementation of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy with participants making a case for the urgent review of Nigeria’s Foreign policy to safe guard national interests, to enable the country play a critical role in the emerging new global order that is parading powerful players like China, India and Japan among others.
The ARCAN lecture series also identified the Foreign service as a special service that requires the establishment of a Foreign Service Commission to deal with recruitment and training of career diplomats to ensure effective implementation of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
The various papers including take aways from the celebrations are being compiled for general circulation and conversion to a policy document that can be forwarded to Government for consideration and implementation as appropriate.