By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari and his Ghanaian counterpart, Nana Akufo-Addo, met behind closed-doors late Sunday night at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Although details of the meeting which was made public at about 11:36pm on Sunday by the Personal Assistant to the President on New Media, Bashir Ahmad, on his Twitter handle were not made public, Vanguard learned it may be due to the brewing duplomatic row between the two West African countries, occasioned by the maltreatment of Nigerian traders in that country.
Bashir Ahmad had in his Twitter handle said: “President @MBuhari receives Ghanaian President H.E. @NAkufoAddo tonight in his official residence at the State House, Abuja.”
The Presidential aide did not elaborate on the purpose of the meeting, but only posted a picture of both presidents on a walk.
Recall that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had recently addressed the Nigerian community in Ghana on the sideline of the extraordinary session of the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, in Accra, the nation’s capital.
The meeting, which held at the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana was focused on the challenges facing Nigerians living in the West African nation, including the locking of hundreds of Nigerian-owned shops.
Responding to the issues raised by leaders of the Nigerian community at the meeting, especially the maltreatment of Nigerians by Ghanaian authorities, Osinbajo strongly affirmed the commitment of the Federal Government to deal with the issues, assuring them of justice.
A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President had quoted Prof. Osinbajo as saying: “I will certainly convey the depth of your grievances to the President.
‘’I am sure he will be deeply disturbed to hear that despite the assurances that he had received (from the Ghanaian government) there are still problems and complications, many of which have been discussed at the highest levels with assurances of resolutions given.”
He explained that the delay in resolving the issues might be due to bureaucratic bottlenecks which is generally a drag on government activities.
He said: “I look forward to getting the details and making sure that we are able to begin to resolve some of these issues as quickly as possible.
“But I think you must also recognize that generally speaking, governments tend to be very slow, processes are slow, bureaucracies are slow, but we will make sure that we do the very best we can to get you your rights, so that at least you are dealt with justly.”
Referring to efforts made in the past and even recently to resolve the crisis, the Vice President said: “I have followed closely developments here, and many of the incidents that you have described, I am already very familiar with. As a matter of fact, the President had asked that a review of all that had taken place be done.
“There have been direct communications between our President and President Akufo-Addo. Our President has spoken to him about this, he has made a formal complaint to him, and that conversation has been going on. What the Ghanaian government pledged to do, on three occasions, was that the shops will be reopened. I am a bit surprised that it has not taken place because my understanding was that, that was going to be done.”