President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday met behind closed door with Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, at the State House, Abuja.
Speaking to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting, Gbajabiamila stated that he was in the villa to seek the blessing of the president over his planned trip to Ghana on Wednesday over the closure of shops owned by Nigerians in that country.
Gbajabiamila had last week said the closure of Nigerian shops in Ghana contravened Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) trade protocols.
The Speaker said, while in Ghana, he would engage with the Speaker of the parliament in Ghana with a view to finding solutions to the challenges facing Nigerian traders in that country.
He said: “One of the issues we discussed today, I’m leaving for Ghana tomorrow to meet with the Speaker of the parliament in Ghana to look at the issues on ground, as it affects our citizens, and to try and calm things down and see if there’s a way forward.
“I’ll meet with the Speaker tomorrow (Wednesday), I informed the President and he’s aware of every single step that we are taking, all the way and we hope that we’ll come to an amicable settlement one way or the other.
“It’s called Legislative Diplomacy, if you remember very well, during the days when I was Leader of the House, I lead 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.
On demands Nigeria is taking to Ghana, the Speaker said: “No demands, we just going to discuss in the spirit of African Parliaments and we’ll be looking at issues from time to time as they affect African countries and this is one of them.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria and Ghana have traded words over the closure of the shops owned by Nigerians in Ghana
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, had summoned the Ghana’s Charge d Affaires to Nigeria, Ms Iva Denoo, to deliberate on the closure of the shops.
Onyeama had also met with representatives of Nigerian Traders in Ghana, led by Jasper Emenike, the National President of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (PAN) and the organisation’s National Director, Hon. Ruth Ango over the issue.
NAN reports that Ghanaian government had also proposed a meeting between President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and his Nigerian counterpart, President Buhari, over the bilateral misunderstanding.