Nigerian ambassador denies the country was present at opening of US embassy in Jerusalem

NIGERIA is not one of the countries that approves of the moving of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem as the presidency has denied rumours that its ambassador attended the opening ceremony which took place earlier this week.


On Monday, in a controversial move, the US moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem following a decision by President Donald Trump to defy Arab opinion and do so. Over the last two days, the development has sparked unrest across the region and put the matter on the international agenda, as it attracts widespread condemnation.


Nigeria came under scrutiny in the matter after it was revealed that her ambassador to Israel attended the opening ceremony but the presidency has refuted these reports.  One presidency source, said the federal government had written to Al Jazeera, demanding a retraction of its story that listed Nigeria as one of the countries represented at the event.


He disclosed that based on the report published by Al Jazeera, Nigeria's foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama, queried the Nigerian ambassador to Israel to explain his presence at the event. Apparently, the ambassador replied saying that it was not true that he was at the event and Nigeria was not represented there.


“Based on that report, the minister queried the ambassador to explain why he attended the event and he has since replied that he was not there. It was on the strength of the ambassador’s response that the federal government wrote to Al Jazeera to retract its story,” the presidency source said.


Monday's ceremony took place amid road closures and heavy police presence in anticipation of Palestinian protests. Since the event, Palestinian protesters have repeatedly clashed with Israeli security forces, with the death toll rising to around 60.