The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila who is on a legislative diplomatic mission arrived Ghana today and was received by the Speaker of the Ghanaian parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Mike Oquaye, at Accra.
The speaker arrived in Ghana in a bid to resolving the issues arising from the $1m levy imposed by the West African country on traders from Nigeria. He said he is hopeful that Nigeria and Ghana will arrive at mutually acceptable resolutions to the trade disputes that erupted some weeks back.
The Speaker, who led a delegation of lawmakers from the House of Representatives, said this when received by the Ghanaian Parliament.
Gbajabiamila who is on a diplomatic visit said the two-day visit is meant to explore legislative diplomacy towards resolving the issues affecting both countries.
Welcoming the Nigerian delegation, the Speaker of the Ghanaian Parliament, Rt. Hon. Prof. Oquaye, who expressed confidence for an amicable resolution of the issues said, “Ghana and Nigeria are like the tongue and the teeth, they must interact, and sometimes the teeth may do havoc, and yet it never regrets the taste that the tongue gives to it. That’s what happens if we don’t interact.
“Even when we step on one another’s feet, in the process we should come to realize that there’s a need to continue to be together and we, therefore, welcome you, thank you very much for your keenness in responding to my call that we should meet and you took a quick step in arranging to be here today.
“I trust in the next two days we will bring a beautiful reunion to our two Nations.”
Responding, Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, while thanking his counterpart for the warm welcome, emphasized that within the next two days of discussions, hopefully, they would be able to arrive at a mutually acceptable resolution between both countries.
He said, “There’s something in modern-day parlance called legislative diplomacy or parliamentary diplomacy, and that’s what obtains all over the world today. Diplomacy is done from all angles including backchannel such as what we are doing now and sometimes you get results that you can only imagine”
Alongside the Speaker on the legislative diplomatic mission to Ghana is the Chairman House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Rep. Buba Yusuf; Chairman House Committee on Media, Rep. Benjamin Kalu; House Member of Ecowas Parliament, Rep. Bayo Balogun, Rep. Ikenna Elezieanya, Rep Ephraim Nwuzi, and Rep. Balarabe Shehu.
Gbajabiamila had announced his arrival via his Twitter handle
The Nigerian speaker had told State House correspondents at the end of a meeting he had with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa on Tuesday that he had received Buhari’s nod to embark on the trip.
Nigerians had decried that if the country is fixed, challenges being faced by Nigerians in diaspora will be reduced to its barest minimum as other countries will treat her citizens well.
Recall that the Federal Government, through the Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had last week protested the development, saying it would no longer accept humiliation of Nigerians by Ghana.
Gbajabiamial, who had earlier said the closure of Nigerian shops in Ghana contravened Economic Community of West African States trade protocols, told reporters that he would find a way forward during his trip.
For some others, Gbajabiamilas visit to Ghana was uncalled for, saying he is taking to the duties of the Minister for foreign affairs
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government last week warned that it would no longer tolerate hostilities towards Nigerian residents in Ghana.
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