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Thursday, 16 February 2017

THE GAMBIA CRISIS: NIGERIA THREATENS TO WITHDRAW FROM ECOWAS





The Deputy Speaker, House of Representa¬tives, Hon. Yusuf Sulaiman Lasun, has threatened that Nigeria would withdraw from funding the ECOWAS Parliament and other region¬al organizations in Africa.
He disclosed this to journalists at the just concluded 2017 Extraordinary Session of the ECOWAS Parliament, in Abuja.


His position was informed by the non-recognition of the role that Nigeria played in ending the political crisis in The Gambia by the parliament.
He noted that other countries in the world were made great by taking charge of their problems first.
The lawmaker lamented that the ECOWAS parliament had not made a formal visit to the Ag President Yemi Osinba¬jo with regard to the President Muhammadu Buhari’s health.


He said: “We might withdraw funding of ECOWAS Parliament. America is great today because they think of themselves alone. China is great today because they put China’s interest first. India is great today because they think of India alone. If you consider Singapore separating from Malaysia, they great today be¬cause they took charge of their domestic responsibilities.”
“We can’t continue to say that we are the big brother of Africa, spend our money, hu-man resources and intellect and we are not being recog¬nised or acknowledged. And people think we are equal. In this case, we are not equal,” said Lasun.


He continued: “Nigeria is a country of about 180 million with vast resources, human capital excellence and superi¬or intellect. So, I don’t know. As far as I am concerned and as one of the leaders of Nige¬ria, we must begin to review our position in all these inter¬national and regional organi¬sations. And don’t forget that just recently, Britain just decid¬ed to leave EU. Who said we cannot leave regional organi¬sations? Britain is living well”.
“How can we spend our re¬sources to cater for ECOWAS and we will not be accorded and recognized? This ECOW¬AS Parliament has been sitting here for the past few days and nobody has ever thought it fit to find out about President Muhammadu Buhari’s health by visiting the Acting Presi¬dent or by writing a letter to wish the man well. Something is wrong somewhere. Is it by force? We are not supposed to be in regional organizations where we have to spend what¬ever we have to make take it to greater heights, yet we are not being recognized,” fumed Lasun.


The Deputy Speaker added that Nigeria was not duly rec¬ognized when a motion was moved to identify countries involved in the resolution of The Gambia’s succession im-broglio.
“A motion was cited and was accompanied and in the resolution, they were trying to identify the personalities and countries that contribut¬ed in halting the political im¬passe in The Gambia. What pained me the most is the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari played an active role, particularly and specifical¬ly but despite the size of Ni-geria, we were not even men¬tioned. Even the presentation of the 2017 Budget was shift¬ed for about two days because of The Gambia’s issue.”
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