The proposed admittance of Morocco into Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) on Thursday met with stiff opposition from Stakeholders. ECOWAS is made up of 15 Anglophone/ Francophone countries from West African region. Its activities are mainly bankrolled by Nigeria and Ghana, Gambia and Sierra Leone had already opposed the proposed admittance of Morocco into ECOWAS.Read More
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The proposed admittance of Morocco into Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) on Thursday met with stiff opposition from Stakeholders.
ECOWAS is made up of 15 Anglophone/ Francophone countries from West African region. Its activities are mainly bankrolled by Nigeria and Ghana, Gambia and Sierra Leone had already opposed the proposed admittance of Morocco into ECOWAS.
Speaking during a public hearing at the instance of the joint committees on Foreign Affairs and Integration and Cooperation in Africa yesterday in the National Assembly, Femi Falana (SAN) insisted that Morocco should not be admitted into the regional Organisation as it will not augur well for Nigeria and the West African Sub- Region
According to him, considering its geographical location, Morocco is not qualified to be part of ECOWAS adding that admiring the country will encourage other North African countries into ECOWAS which may necessitate a change of name by the Organisation.
He warned that in terms of trade Nigeria and other west African countries through Morroco will be flooded with good from European Union and the highest loser will be Nigeria.
He said: “It will lead to massive lose of jobs in Nigeria and other ECOWAS country.. Africa Union are in trouble today due to the admittance of Morocco,” he added.
Fred Agwu, who represented the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs (NIIA) told lawmakers that Morocco is not only deceitful, but has an evil agenda for the regional body, and emphasized that Nigeria is the eventual target.
He recommended that Migeria should use its influence in ECOWAS to deny Morroco admittance as “it will be very dangerous to Nigeria Security if Morocco is admitted into ECOWAS”.
Former director general of NIIA, Professor Bola Akinterinwa while speaking in the issue said that Morocco’s desire for an ECOWAS membership may be premised on the agitation by the Indigenous People of Biafra agitation to break up from Nigeria.
Akinterinwa posited that Morroco is waiting to step in Nigeria’s shoes should it leave the Organisation “they want a situation whereby if Nigeria leaves ECOWAS, they will occupy it’s space,” he said adding that “Morocco is likely to be used as an instrument to disintegrate Nigeria.”
Geoffrey Onyema, Minister of foreign affairs, said what will decide the inclusion of Morocco into ECOWAS is the decision of the Head of States in the ECOWAS region, adding that Moreoco’s inclusion will be an economic victory for ECOWAS.
“Morocco’s inclusion will be a trojan horse into the region considering its link with some European countries”.
Foreign Affairs’ Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Sola Enikanolaiye who stood in for the Minister after he left for another engagement said no final decision has been made by the Nigerian government on whether to admit Morocco into ECOWAS as it was still under consideration
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara in his opening remarks at the hearing, urged the committees to deeply look into Morocco’s decision in joining the ECOWAS in a way it will not be injurious to Nigeria.
Also Hon. Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje Chairperson of the committee, explained the different aspects of the ECOWAS treaty urging that the admissibility of a country outside the geographical region be examined and the legal consequences and legal instrument in relation to the application for ascension be analyzed so as to review the trade balance between Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco
Going buoy the resolve of the joint committee all issues raised at the hearing will be harnessed before submitting it final conclusion in a report to the House at plenary
If you recall, on 5th October 2017, the House refereed a motion sponsored by Hon. Olatunbosun George (PDP, Oyo). to the joint committees of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Integration in Africa to review Nigeria’s continued membership of ECOWAS in view of the clamor to admit of Morocco into the regional body.