Kofi Annan’s legacies can strengthen Ghana-Nigeria relationship – Envoy
Ghana’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Rashid Bawa, has said that the relationship between the two countries can be further be strengthened by the legacies entrenched by the late UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
Bawa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that the former UN Secretary-General lived a life worthy of emulation.
He said that Annan, who served as the 7th UN scribe and was a co-recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, would be remembered for his contributions toward ensuring world peace and security and conflict resolution.
“His fundamental belief was that there can be no development between the two countries without peace and peace can only be achieved through the resolution of conflict.
“He contributed to the promotion of dialogue and the strengthening of institutions between Ghana and Nigeria, and also in ensuring that ECOWAS protocols were adhered to, especially that free movement of persons and goods are achieved.”
According to him, both countries can achieve a lot by drawing from Annan’s legacies.
On Annan’s funeral programme, Bawa said that the Condolence Register at the Ghana High Commission in Abuja was closed on Friday.
He said that his body would be received in Accra on Sept. 10, lie in state from Sept. 11 to Sept. 12 while the burial would take place on Sept. 13 at the new Military cemetery, Burma Camp, Ghana.
NAN recalls the late UN Scribe died on Aug. 18 in Bern, Switzerland, after a brief illness.
On the issue of the trade face-off which witnessed the closure of the shops of many Nigerian traders in 2012, the high commissioner described the incident as unfortunate, saying that it emanated from wrong implementation of government directives.
“It is unfortunate because relation between both countries can be traced to the colonial era and both played key roles in establishment of ECOWAS protocols.
“The concern of the Ghanaian government was that there was introduction of goods and involvement of persons from countries outside ECOWAS sub-region in petty trading in Ghana community.
“Ghana, as a country, therefore decided to respond and ensure that people outside ECOWAS should not engage in petty trading within the shores of the country, by giving certain directives.
“Unfortunately, in implementation of that directive, it was misconstrued to include ECOWAS countries, which affected lots of Nigerian traders in the country.
“Immediately Ghana’s Government got to know about the development, it put a stop to that directive to do more advocacy for an understanding of the policy that was given,” Bawa explained.
He said that the matter had been put to rest and that there was sanity in Ghana, adding that Nigerians now go about their businesses lawfully, without any form of intimidation in anyway.