Sunday, 5 April 2009

Embassy Sorry For Displaying Old Booklets

By Hakeem Babalola
News Article
The Embassy of Nigeria Budapest has offered its apology for displaying old booklets containing ex-Nigerian dictator's photo during the celebration of Africa Day.

In an effort to woo Hungarian investors and business executives, the Embassy of Nigeria Budapest officially displayed booklets containing ex-dictator Sani Abacha's photo as the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The incident happened at this year's Africa Day celebration that took place at the Hungarian Military Museum on May 26, which was attended by the Hungarian Foreign Affairs Minister and other officials.

The booklet titled, "SOLID MINERALS DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA" was published in 1996 when the dictator ruled Nigeria with a tempestuous heart; maiming, torturing and killing anyone that criticised his brutal regime.

The Ministry of Solid Minerals Development was created in 1995 under Abacha 'to encourage private investors to take advantage of the opportunities which abound in mining, prospecting, exploitation and down-stream processing of minerals".

It was gathered that only Nigeria presented old booklets out of the ten African countries that showcased their countries' resources to the Hungarian officials, business executives and invited guests.

Although an embassy official regretted the error, many Nigerians described it as ridiculous and disappointing. "This is ridiculous and disappointing," quipped a Nigerian woman. "It is a slap on Yar'Adua and our country in general. How can this happen?"

Also, a Ghanaian who picked up a copy of the booklets was equally discomfited saying, it's unbelievable to see the picture of the late dictator in official booklets being distributed to invite investors to a democratic Nigeria.

Responding to a question sent to the embassy on "What is Sani Abacha's photo doing inside a Nigerian booklet displayed on Africa Day in Budapest, the First Secretary/Consular, Mrs. Abimbola Samuel Reuben who spoke on the phone offered her apology on behalf of the embassy. "It was a terrible mistake on our part and we regret the error".

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