Ghanaâ€™s High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Rashid Bawa, has denounced ex-President Goodluck Jonathan for misquoting President Nana Akuffo-Addo over the security situation in Nigeria.
He said on Friday that Jonathan â€œtook the words of President Akufo-Addo completely out of contextâ€ when he quoted the Ghanaian leader of mocking Nigeria.
The High Commissioner said Jonathan misquoted Akuffo-Addoâ€™s speech delivered at the Oxford African Conference, according to a NAN report.
He recalled the exact words of President Akufo-Addo: â€˜For most of you in the audience today, it is probably before your time. But in the late 1970s up to the mid-1980s, as a result of the discovery of considerable petroleum deposits, Nigeria was booming. It was the place to be.
â€˜We Ghanaians, who were going through very difficult times then, would arrive at Heathrow Airport, and be herded into a cage to be subjected to the full third degree by Immigration , and we would look on as our Nigerian cousins would be waved through, with a â€˜welcome sirâ€™ and a â€˜welcome madamâ€™ .
â€˜The newspaper headlines in this country were full of Nigerians leaving or forgetting bundles of money in taxis and telephone booths. Nigerians were the preferred tenants for those who had apartments to let. You could stop by any Thomas Cook shop on any High Street in this country and buy or sell Naira, the Nigerian currency, and you could do the same in New York, and I suspect in many other Western country cities. â€˜I do not need to spell out todayâ€™s reality to anyone in this audience. I cite this just to make the point that the â€œthe outside worldâ€ is well able to tell that there are separate sovereign nations on the African continent. But when the news is not good, then Africa is treated as one entity.â€™
Bawa also disagreed with Jonathanâ€™s reference to Akufo-Addoâ€™s purported disposition towards cattle-rearing.
â€œThe other alleged remark that â€˜Ghana is not Nigeria where cattle can roam about anyhowâ€™ has never been made by President Akufo-Addo. That is not his way of speaking.
â€œPresident Akufo-Addo, in many of the speeches he has made in Nigeria and elsewhere since becoming the President of Ghana, has described Nigeria as â€˜a country I describe as my second home in the worldâ€™, and will never use Nigeria to make negative examples as the former President Goodluck Jonathan sought to portray.
â€œPresident Akufo-Addo enjoys a very good relationship with President Muhammadu Buhari, as he has with many other Nigerian leaders.â€
â€œGhana and Nigeria are like siblings, and it would be most inappropriate, because of politics, for anyone, regardless of his or her status in society, to try to sow seeds of discord amongst the leadership and peoples of our two countries.â€
Jonathan had at the unveiling of a flyover in Ado Ekiti said Nigeria had deteriorated so much that it had lost its respect in Africa.
Jonathan in his speech at the inauguration on May 25 said: â€œA President of a neighbouring country, Ghana, recently made two negative remarks about Nigeria. First, the current Ghanaian President was addressing Ghanaians about the movement of cattle within their shores and he said openly that Ghana is not like Nigeria where cattle roam freely. That was quite uncomplimentary.
According to Jonathan, â€œthe same President was speaking in the United Kingdom when he made disparaging remarks about Nigeriaâ€™s currencyâ€™â€™.
â€œIf it has got to a level when the Presidents of neighbouring countries will cite Nigeria as a negative example, then we must know as leaders of this country that certain things are not going well, and we must change the way we do things.â€