By Tordue Salem, Abuja
The House of Representatives took the hardline on Tuesday, asking the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to invoke the diplomatic principle of reciprocity against Ghana, in response to the demolition of Nigeria’s Embassy building in that Country.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila spoke on behalf of the Green Chamber, at an interactive session with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyema over the breach of the country’s sovereignty in Ghana a few days ago.
The Speaker in his opening remarks at the occasion, said the attack on Nigeria by Ghana, may not have happened without the prior knowledge of the Ghanaian authority, and the action of demolition, deserved a tough response.
“If Ghana has a problem and is approaching it through subterranean moves, then what do you think the outcome of the legal proceeding, will be? So I think we should pursue it from that angle; I think we should make it clear; I think we should make it clear for the authorities in Ghana, that Nigeria is not going to sit down and fold its arms.
“Reciprocity is a legitimate instrument in foreign relations. The doctrine of reciprocity is what should be considered”, he advised.
According to him, “The Nigerian State was attacked. I think we should look at this thing from the premise that the Nigerian State was attacked. It’s not a building that was demolished. No! The Nigerian State was attacked; I think if we look at it from that premise, we will begin to understand the importance and the gravity of what we are dealing with”, he said further.
The Speaker frowned at the soft diplomatic approach the country has adopted, in responding to attacks at the country and its citizens abroad, and advised that a new approach must be adopted.
“We have established a pattern, and what we get(from other countries that attack Nigeria), are apologies, and ‘we will look into it. I don’t think that should suffice at this point. We must put a stop to what has become a perennial problem between Nigeria and Ghana. To me, this is a sibling rivalry, between two sister countries, but even in sibling rivalry, there is a line you don’t cross, and they(Ghana) just crossed the line, albeit a second time”, he said.
In his response, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr. Onyema, agreed with the House that the attack on the Embassy was shocking.
He also disclosed that the government was considering a review of Nigeria’s foreign policy.
According to him, “We have not got sufficient appreciation from other countries; we will have to sit down and take a decision, to review our foreign policy”.
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Yusuf Buba(APC-Adamawa), at whose instance the meeting was convened, agreed with the Speaker that a tough response was necessary in responding to the assault on the country by Ghana.