Richard Ginika Izuora
The Anambra State government has commended the Federal Government on its three recent moves on the international scene, saying that Nigeria’s foreign policy is becoming dynamic once again.
In separate detailed letters to President Muhammadu Buhari, Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama and Information Culture Minister Lai Mohammed, Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State assesses the Federal Government’s response to the plight of Nigerian businessmen in Ghana, the reelection of Nigeria’s erstwhile Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, as the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB).
In the letters shown to newsmen in Awka, the Anambra State capital, by the state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, Governor Obiano described as robust the FG’s warning to the Ghanaian authorities in the light of “well-documented actions against innocent and law-abiding Nigerians in Ghana doing legitimate businesses.
“It is not fair for the Ghanaian government, the Ghanaian organized private sector and Ghanaians in the informal economic sector to be in alliance against Nigerian traders who they consider better business competitors on account of their dynamism, innovation and creativity.
“The discriminatory levies against these traders which are in some cases up to one million dollars cannot be tolerated because they threaten Africa’s unity and solidarity and grossly violate both the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) spirit and protocols.
“The Ghanaians should rather learn business competitiveness from their Nigerian brothers and sisters, all the more so in the era of globalization which is defined by acute competitiveness, as barriers to international commerce collapse rapidly”.
The Anambra State government notes that it will be a profoundly sad development if Ghanaians create the impression that non-Africans are welcome to their country but not fellow Blacks and Africans.
“Indeed”, the state government continues in the letter, “it will be a greater tragedy if some African leaders tell the world that Africans can live, work and do business in foreign lands without molestation but not in some African nations simply because they hail from different African nations”.
Anambra State argues that the “there is absolutely no justification for the current poor relations between Ghana and Nigeria.
“After all, it was the Great Zik of Africa who, as editor in chief of The African Morning Post in Accra in the 1940s, discovered the promising and intelligent young man known as Kwame Nkrumah and encouraged him to travel to the United States for further education and even secured admission for the young man in Zik’s alma mater, Storer College in Philadelphia.
“This young man was to lead Ghana to independence in 1957 and became one of the leading exponents of Pan Africanism and even became arguably the leading champion of Africa’s political unity as one nation.
“When Nigeria began to experience a grave political crisis in the 1960s following two military coups in 1967, it was the Ghanaian authorities who tried to reconcile the warring parties by bringing their leaders to the sleepy town of Aburi to resolve their differences. The Aburi meeting remains historic.
“When Ghana was undergoing severe economic challenges, the Nigerian government was constantly sending essential commodities to Ghana either free of charge or at subsidized rates.
“Therefore, there current psychological, financial and physical actions against helpless Nigerian citizens in Ghana who are contributing significantly to Ghana’s development are extremely difficult to fathom.
“We recall that when these anti-Nigerian traders’ sentiments and measures were very high, Dr Ike Ekweremmadu, in his capacity as Deputy Senate President and Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, as well Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, who was then chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the Diaspora, led a powerful Nigerian delegation to Ghana in 2012 to plead with the Ghanaian authorities.
“We commend the Nigerian government for its patience and maturity in the face of extreme provocations and appreciate its robust response to the Ghana challenge as articulated at the weekend by both the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs”.
The letter by Governor Obiano also praises President Buhari for personally leading the campaign for the reelection of Dr Akinwunmi Adesina as the African Development Bank (AfDB) president last week in the Ivorian capital, Abidjan capital.
“The people and government of Anambra State are satisfied that all the allegations against Dr Adesina, including his hiring of a worthy daughter of Anambra State, Mrs Chinelo Anohu-Amaizu, as a top executive have been proved by the independent panel of investigators to be without merit.
“Dr Adesina has been guided in all his working life in different parts of the world by meritocracy.
“When Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, then Nigeria’s Minister of Finance and Coordinator of the Economy, nominated Dr Adesina for the AfDB top job and campaigned frenetically for him, she was guided purely by his exceedingly impressive credentials and personal integrity.
“Mrs Okonjo-Iweala, a former World Bank Managing Director, is today a candidate for the World Trade Organization (WTO) Director General on the strength of her training, knowledge, skills, experience, goodwill, competence, and other international leadership attributes.
“The Nigerian government under President Buhari which nominated her for the post to a global applause has to do everything within its power to ensure that Dr Okonjo-Iweala gets the job because she is the best candidate for the job.
“This will demonstrate to the whole world that Nigeria, once known for its dynamic foreign policy, is returning to the global stage with strength and renewed vigour”.