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Femi Gbajabiamila: Apologies Will Not Address Emerging Diplomatic Row Between Nigeria and Ghana

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has added his voice to the series of condemnation trailing the recent demolition of a Nigeria’s High Commission’s Building in Accra Ghana by “unidentified persons.”

Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila, announced that showing “diplomatic maturity” by merely demanding an apology will not address the issue.

Gbajabiamila was speaking when Geoffrey Onyema, minister of foreign affairs, appeared before the house committee on foreign affairs on Tuesday. The speaker said some African countries have attacked the Nigerian state while the country looks the other way in the name of “brotherhood”.

According to the Speaker, “Reciprocity is a legitimate instrument in foreign policy. And we can employ it, because if such had happened here in Nigeria, the individual will first approach the court to enforce his rights, and I want to believe that Ghana is a democratic country where laws apply, but this person didn’t use the law to do this. So it’s purely a predetermined attack on the Nigerian state.”

He went further, “In terms of visibility and otherwise of the property, I want to say that it is trite to understand that all countries exist through their embassies in other countries.

“So for that reason, Nigeria was attacked by Ghana, because if anything happens in Ghana, it’s the Nigerian high commission that Nigerians will run to and get protection due to the diplomatic immunity that it enjoys.

”Others may say that this is a sibling rivalry that is going on between Nigeria and Ghana, and we did nothing, but we must take a stand, because this has gone beyond court processes as the minister said.

“This diminishes Nigeria as a state because it’s not a land dispute between Nigeria and any individual, but a diplomatic dispute between Nigeria and Ghana, which should be handled accordingly, because the person who did this did it under the colour of their law.

“South Africa did it, we kept quiet; Ghana has done it, and still, we are not doing anything, but we want to show diplomatic maturity of asking for apology and claim damages. If this had happened to the British high commission in Ghana, all hell would have been let loose. I’m telling you this as a matter of fact.”

Briefing the Committee, the foreign affairs minister called for calm over the demolition, disclosing that high powered talks are in progress to resolve the matter.