Traders’ crisis: Gbajabiamila to visit Ghana Wednesday

Femi Gbajabiamila
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, will on Wednesday, travel to Ghana as part of moves to resolve the issues arising from the $1m levy imposed by the West African countries on traders from Nigeria.

Gbajabiamila told State House correspondents at the end of a meeting he had with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Tuesday, that he had received Buhari’s nod to embark on the trip.

The Federal Government through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had last week said it would no longer accept the humiliation of Nigerians by Ghana.

Ghanaian authorities have since responded to the statement, saying Mohammed’s claims on the issue and previous ones were inaccurate.

But Gbajabiamila said he would be embarking on what he called “legislative diplomacy” trip to Ghana.

He said the purpose was for him to meet with his Ghanaian counterpart with a view to resolving the matter.

The speaker said, “I am leaving for Ghana tomorrow (Wednesday) to meet with the Speaker of the parliament in Ghana to look at the issues on ground as they affect our citizens and to try and calm things down and see if there is a way forward.

“I will meet with the Speaker tomorrow (Wednesday).

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

“It is called legislative diplomacy. 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.”

The Speaker said he would not be going to Ghana with any specific demands.

“No demands, we are just going to discuss in the spirit of African parliaments and we will be looking at issues from time to time as they affect African countries, and this is one of them.

“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 amicable solutions. The Ghanaians 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.”

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