Nigeria and Ghana’s faceoff may soon be over as parliamentary speakers from the two countries met on Wednesday.
Nigeria’s House of Representatives’ speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, was optimistic of a mutually acceptable resolution after a meeting with his counterpart, Mike Oquaye, in Accra, the Ghanaian capital.
Gbajabiamila is on a two day trip to Ghana on a diplomatic parley over the closure of shops owned by Nigerians in the country. Ghanaian authorities are demanding foreigners pay a $1m levy for opening businesses in the country but Nigerians claimed, even when paid, their shops remained closed.
The Nigerian speaker, in a statement read by his senior special adviser on media and public affairs, Olarewaju Lasisi, described Nigeria and Ghana as Siamese twins who will always have healthy quarrels.
The statement also quoted the Ghanaian Speaker, Oquaye, as saying “Ghana and Nigeria must interact.
“Even when we step on one another’s toes, we should realize that there’s a need to continue to be together and we 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.”
On his part, Gbajabiamila, who also met the leadership of Nigerian traders in Ghana who narrated their ordeal in the hands of Ghanaian government officials, said: “Nigeria and Ghana are more like Siamese twins. Brothers will always have squabbles, healthy ones; national interest on both sides will always come to play but it’s not the misunderstanding that matters, it’s how you resolve it that counts,” Gbajabiamila said in the statement.
“In Africa, you cannot talk about Nigeria without talking about Ghana and you cannot talk about Ghana without talking about Nigeria. It has therefore become incumbent on us as parliamentarians to bring to bear this concept of legislative diplomacy for fruitful results.
“The weight and burden of our international relationship rests on parliamentary shoulders and it is my hope that we will reach some resolutions that will settle both countries.”