Nigerian lawmakers call for retaliatory action against Ghana over High Commission demolition

Members of Nigeria’s House of Representatives are calling for retaliatory action against Ghana for the demolition of a Nigeria High Commission’s residential quarters in Accra.

Although President Nana Akufo-Addo has apologised for the action, which the Paramount Chief of Osu defended, the Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, told the Minister that an apology tendered by the Ghanaian government and its officials without concrete action taken to redress the action was not acceptable.

The demolished building at the Nigerian High Commission, Accra

“Rather than being diplomatic on the issue of demolition of our national assets in Ghana or other countries, the nation should be confrontational adding that reciprocity is a legitimate instrument in foreign relations,” The Punch quoted him as saying.

Akufo-Addo apologises to Buhari over High Commission demolition

Similarly, the Chairman House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Buba Yakub and other Nigerian legislators also tasked officials of the Foreign Ministry to ensure that the Nigerian government took action to redress the mishap.

The lawmakers said that the demolition of the nation’s property in Ghana by the country’s nationals should not be taken lightly in the light of the fact that it was done by non-state actors.

Call for Retaliation
While calling for retaliation of the act by the Nigerian government, Mr. Yakubu noted that “the act is a breach of diplomatic protocols and expressed regrets that the property which depicts the nation’s sovereignty was demolished for more than two hours and no arrest was made by the Ghanaian authorities.”

Armed men demolish Nigeria High Commission’s property

Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and lawmaker. Khadija Bukar Abba Ibrahim from Yobe State and other lawmakers notably, Sada Soli-Jibia from Kastsina State, Miriam Onuoha from Imo State and Cornelius Nnaji from Enugu State also asked that the Nigerian government retaliate the action if the Ghanaian government fails to act appropriately.

However, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama assured the Nigerian lawmakers that the Nigerian government would not hesitate to employ the use of force by the deployment of fighter jets and security personnel to the country if it becomes necessary.

Osu chiefs defend demolition of ‘Nigerian High Commission’ building

He said that the government was still considering what steps to take in the present situation, where there is an attack on one or two foreign missions out of over one hundred of such properties owned by the Nigerian government across the world is not likely going to result into conflict in relations for both nations.

The Minister, however, noted that “Ghanaian authorities have arrested some of the perpetrators of the provocative demolition exercise even as he also commended Nigerian diplomats in other countries that are law-abiding citizens of Nigeria.

But the Nigerian government has indicated it will not take a retaliatory action against Ghana for the incident that threatened relations between the two countries.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, told Voice of Nigeria while reacting to the apology tendered by the Ghanaian President, Nana Akufo-Addo over the incident.

“The President of Ghana has called and regretted the action and apologised to the President of Nigeria. I think he has shown leadership in the matter and what should Nigeria do; these are two leading countries in West Africa.

“Nigeria will not engage in a street fight with Ghana. This cannot happen. So, the two leaders, especially President Muhammadu Buhari, who is much respected in Africa, they all call him ‘Baba’ (Father), so he is bound to show restraint.
The Presidential Spokesperson said diplomacy will be used in resolving the matter.

“Matters such as this when they arise, it is always better when they arise, they should be resolved diplomatically. No, there shouldn’t be a fight between Nigeria and Ghana, this will not happen,”Shehu stressed.




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