Apology not Enough, Nigeria Must Retaliate Attack in Ghana – Reps

Femi Gbajabiamila

The house of representatives says Nigeria must reciprocate the attack on the country’s high commission in Ghana which it said was becoming a sad trend.

Speaking in Abuja on Tuesday, Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the house, said showing “diplomatic maturity” by merely demanding an apology will not address the issue.

TheCable had reported how armed men demolished the staff quarters of the high commission which is still under construction.

A Ghanaian monarch later claimed the plot of land where the structure is located belongs to his community and that it is being forcibly taken away from them.

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”.

He said: “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

“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.

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”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.”

Onyema earlier called for calm over the demolition, saying talks are in progress to resolve the matter.

Ghanaian president calls Buhari, apologises over demolition at high commission

Meanwhile, President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana has called his Nigerian counterpart to apologise over the demolition of a building at the Nigerian commission in Accra.

Zebra News had reported how armed men invaded the commission on Friday, demolishing some apartments that were under construction.

In reaction to the development, the Ghanaian government had said perpetrators of the act would be punished.

In a statement on Tuesday, Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, said Akufo-Addo spoke with President Muhammadu Buhari over the phone on Tuesday.

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“President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana Tuesday spoke with President Muhammadu Buhari, expressing his sincere apology for demolition of a building on the premises of Nigerian High Commission in Accra, Ghana,” he said.

“In a telephone call, the Ghanaian leader told President Buhari that he has directed full investigation into the incident.

“Earlier in the day, it further emerged that some suspects had been arrested, and will be arraigned in court.”

A Ghanaian monarch had accused the Nigerian high commission of trespassing on the plot of land which he said belongs to his people.

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