Analysts wager visit is to pacify Nigeria on Moroccan snub
By Nsikan Ikpe
Enroute Owerri in the Eastern Nigerian heartland, Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo made a stop-over in Abuja Sunday to confer with Nigeria’s Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.
The duo met behind closed doors and though no public statement has yet been released about their discussions feelers are that the issue of Nigeria’s disaffection with how she is being treated within the ECOWAS bloc would likely have taken a significant chunk of the talk-time.
The meeting between the leaders of the two biggest English-speaking nations in the 16-member body took place at the Aguda House, Presidential Villa, Abuja, and lasted for more than an hour.
Before now, the new Chairman of ECOWAS, President Faure Gnassingbe had paid a post-summit visit to the Acting president, where he passionately solicited Nigeria’s continued support for the regional body. This was after Nigeria had ostensibly registered its displeasure over the moves to admit the North African nation of Morocco into the regional economic community, REC, through its loud absence at the 51st summit of Heads of States of the body that was held a few weeks ago in Monrovia, Liberia.
Nigeria is the biggest member-state contributor to the annual budget of ECOWAS and also provides offices and facilities for the secretariat of the commission in Abuja.
Akufo-Addo later attended the Imo State Thanksgiving Day in Owerri.
It will be recalled that President Akufo-Addo had earlier visited Nigeria on Dec. 19, 2016 shortly after emerging winner of the 2016 presidential elections in the former Gold Coast and in the course of that visit, had met and held talks with with President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa,Abuja.
Very passionate about intra-ECOWAS cooperation, the Ghanaian leader, has since his swearing in on january 7, undertaken high-level consultative visits to many of the nations in the sub-region.
They include Liberia, Niger, Guinea and Cape Verde. Others are Cote d’Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Togo
Akufo-Addo and Osinbajo during the visit