MAN, TUC, Falana, others oppose Morocco’s admission into ECOWAS
• Foreign Affairs minister allays fears
The Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) has stoutly opposed on-going moves to admit Morocco into the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
MAN’s position was corroborated by human rights lawyer, Chief Femi Falana; former Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Prof. Bola Akinfehinwa; the Association of Retired Carrier Ambassadors (ARCAN); the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria National Movement for the Liberation of Western Sahara.
They made their positions known yesterday during a public hearing organised by the Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje-led joint House of Representatives Committees of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and Integration in Africa probing into the implications of the membership of Morocco in the ECOWAS sub-regional body.
MAN’s Vice President, Ibrahim Usman, warned that dire consequences await Nigeria’s socio-economic and political interests if it allows the admission of Morocco into ECOWAS.
While TUC’s Secretary-General, Mr. Musa Lawal, stated that Morocco’s presence in ECOWAS is of no value to Nigeria, Falana said that the admission of Morocco into ECOWAS is against the provisions of Section 19 of the constitution that stresses the need to protect the interest of the citizenry and Article 21 of the African Union (AU) Charter, which not only promotes African integration but is opposed to a country illegally occupying a member state of the AU like the Western Sahara.
Akinfehinwa warned that admission of Morocco into ECOWAS could be used to destabilise the nation.Meanwhile, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyema, who opposed the rejection of Morocco’s admission into the ECOWAS, said there were economic benefits for the sub-region and Nigeria if the country is admitted into the sub-regional body.
Onyema, who stated that the decision to admit Morocco was in line with ECOWAS Treaty, said: “The reality is that trade with Morocco has been increasing overtime, both with ECOWAS and Nigeria. So, we are looking at more trade, which will be a win-win for us.”
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