Diplomatic Row: Nigeria, Ghana move to douse tensions

Diplomatic Row: Nigeria, Ghana move to douse tensions

Ghana and Nigeria have begun to publicly douse the tensions arising from the demolition of  the Nigerian High Commission building in Accra with Mrs Iva Denoo, Chargè d’ Affaires of the High Commission of Ghana to Nigeria stating Wednesday that the lives and properties of Nigerians living in Ghana are safe.

This is just as the Nigerian Presidency said that Nigeria will not engage in a street fight with Ghana over the demolition.

On June 19, armed men reportedly stormed the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana and destroyed two residential buildings under construction.

The demolition had drawn anger and condemnation from Nigerians who also felt that the federal government reaction was tepid as Ghana had consistently been treating issues arising from Nigerian High Commission compound and citizens resident in the country with derision.

President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana on Tuesday called President Muhammadu Buhari, to tender sincere apologies for the demolition done inside the premises of Nigerian High Commission in Accra, Ghana.

Akufo-Addo had informed President Buhari that he has directed full investigation into the incident.

Presidential Spokesperson, Malam Garba Shehu, told journalists at the Presidential Villa, Abuja that both Presidents Akufo-Addo and Buhari would resolve the issue row arising from the demolition diplomatically.

According to Shehu, “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.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Mrs Denoo, Chargè d’ Affaires of the High Commission of Ghana, visited the offices of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM) as part of efforts to achieve rapprochement with the Nigerian government and publics.

Chairperson and Chief Executive of NiDCOM, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, represented by Mr Sule Bassi, Secretary of the Commission, was told by the Ghanaian diplomat that “for the security of Nigerians living in Ghana, I can assure you that every Nigerian in Ghana is assured of  maximum security and no discrimination whatsoever.

“This issue of Nigerian Embassy in Ghana that was demolished, the President of Ghana has assured that no harm will come to Nigerians and they have beefed up security at the embassy.”

Responding, Bassi, said that the diplomatic tension that might be stirred by the incident was already being handled by both countries.

He said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s agenda was that, wherever Nigerians found themselves, they must excel and be of good behaviour by projecting the real image of Nigeria, which is a country of good people with respected culture and values.

“If you go round the world, I can guarantee you that Nigerians always are on top of whatever they are doing,” he said.

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