The lawmakers of the regional super-power, Nigeria, were angered at what they see as the non-recognition of their country’s role in ending Gambia’s political crisis by the ECOWAS parliament.
Members of Nigerian delegate to ECOWAS parliament have criticized the legislative body’s non-recognition of Nigeria’s role in resolving the political impasse in The Gambia.
Former Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh plunged the country into crisis when he refused to step down after losing the last December presidential election, prompting regional pressure and a threat of military intervention.
The parliament, at the end of its first ordinary session in 2017, drafted a motion and accompanied by resolution wherein the role Nigeria played in ensuring peaceful transfer of power in the Gambia was not properly acknowledged.
Speaking to newsmen on the sideline of the plenary, the Deputy Speaker, House of Representative, Yusuf Suleiman Lasun, on Wednesday said President Muhammadu Buhari was not accorded the proper recognition and acknowledgement he deserves for his active role in ending the political crisis in The Gambia.
He said the presentation of Nigeria’s 2017 budget at the National Assembly was postponed by two days because of the Gambian issue.
“If you refuse to acknowledge such a country and personality in a manner that will encourage them to do better in future, then what is the purpose of the regional organization?” Lasun queried.
Lasun, who is also the First Deputy Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament, said Nigerian leaders had fought relentlessly to ensure that countries in Africa are liberated.
He said it was when South African president Jacob Zuma addressed the Nigerian parliament recently that the country formally acknowledged Nigeria’s position in the fight against apartheid.
“Then when it comes to discussing Nigeria, we are just like footnote. As a Nigerian, I cannot stand in an environment where Nigeria is not properly accorded when we involve our money and human resources,” he said.
He disclosed that Nigeria is funding about 80% of ECOWAS parliament’s budget, threatening that the country may withdraw its contribution to the regional legislative body if its leaders are not properly acknowledged.
Nigeria, he said, must begin to review its position in international and regional organisations.
“We cannot continue to say we are big brother in Africa, spending our money and human resources and we are not being recognized and acknowledged. People think we are equal. In this case, we are not,” he said.
Lasun, however, urged the parliament to visit Nigerian acting President, Yemi Osinbajo to show concern about the health status of president Buhari, who is away in London for medical purpose.