PRESIDENT BUHARI RECEIVES SENATE PRESIDENT AND SPEAKER 2A.; President Muhammadu Buhari receives the Speaker Rt Hon Femi Gbajabiamila at the Residence, Presidential Villa Sunday Night in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE. COT 6 2019
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Nigeria-Ghana faceoff: Gbajabiamila off to Accra on “legislative diplomacy”

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In a bid to resolve the impasse between Nigeria and Ghana, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, will on Wednesday leave Abuja for Accra, Ghana.

 

Persecondnews reports that the Speaker has already received the blessings of President Muhammadu Buhari for what  he called “Legislative Diplomacy”.

About two weeks ago, the authorities shut shops belonging to Nigeria in the west African country.

Gbajabiamila said the closure of the shops contravened Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) trade protocols and had called for a decisive solution between both countries.

The Ghanaian government had imposed the $1million levy on foreign  traders in the country, including Nigeria in retaliation to some measures taken by Abuja.

 

Both countries had traded words over the closure of Nigerian-owned shops in Ghana, with the Ghanaian Foreign Minister citing the border closure policy by President Buhari as affecting the revenues of Ghanaian exporters.

Gbajabiamila told State House correspondents : “One of the issues we discussed today, I’m leaving for Ghana tomorrow to meet with the Speaker of the parliament in Ghana to look at the issues on ground, as it affects our citizens, and to try and calm things down and see if there is a way forward.

“I will meet with the Speaker tomorrow, I informed the President and he is aware of every single step that we are taking, all the way and we hope that we’ll come to an amicable settlement one way or the other.

“It is called “Legislative Diplomacy” and if you remember very well during the days when I was Leader of the House, I led the delegation to South Africa during the crisis there with Nigerians and we were able to accomplish quite a bit to simmer things down at that time.”

Asked what demands he taking to Ghana, he said: “No demands, we just going to discuss in the spirit of African Parliaments and we’ll be looking at issues from time to time as they affect African countries and this is one of them.”

Asked to comment on the Ghana situation, Gbajabiamila said: “I don’t want to make any statement at this time so that we don’t exacerbate matters. Like I said, we are looking for an amicable solution.

“The Ghanians have their take on what is going on, we have our own take. We will see how we can marry the two takes and come to a solution.

“We are two strong West African countries and there must be symbiosis, we must work together. You don’t get anything from working at cross purposes or knocking heads together. We must at all times, as Africans, work as best as possible together and that’s what this my trip is about,” the Speaker said.

On the President’s disposition to the fence-mending, he said:  “He was happy, I believe all avenues must be explored and he believes it. He is a man of peace who believes every avenue for peace must be exploited, must be explored. Yeah, we are all on the same page.”

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