Senator Kabiru Gaya representing Kano Central, also the Vice President, Inter-Parliamentary Union for Africa,IPU Africa, yesterday, frowned at Ghanaian government for introducing $120 residency fee for Nigerians in the country, saying the development, which he noted, was against the spirit of brotherliness in Africa, must not be allowed to stand.
This came as he urged the United States President – Elect, Donald Trump to reconsider his stand on immigrants in his country as well as refugee issues. To this end, he hinted that the regional parliamentary body would immediately convene a meeting where the issues are expected to be addressed.
Speaking in Abuja, yesterday, Gaya, who was elected last week in Geneva, Switzerland, during the organisation’s 135th General Assembly, also urged the United States President-elect, Donald Trump to reconsider his position during campaign on immigrants and refugees.
Gaya insisted that the $120 residency fee imposed on Nigerians negated the spirit of love and free movements being preached by the regional governments.
“We intend to invite all West African countries for a meeting here in Nigeria so that we could be able to discuss this issue.
“There’s no way we will be discussing on how to move freely as West Africans and then fees are being charged. And therefore, this issue will be discussed and a way forward will be found.
“I will make sure I use this office to get over those issues. There’s no point any country in Africa should begin to charge money for you living in the country, because if we are going to charge levy for those living in Nigeria, it will be a different story entirely.
” I think we should be our brother’s keepers. And that’s what Nigeria has been doing. Nigeria has been accommodating and we know the roles we played in getting independence for many other countries, fighting and doing solidarity for other countries to get freedom and we stabilized Liberia and other countries.
“Nigeria spent a lot of money in trying to keep peace in African countries. We believe we shouldn’t be treated like that. I think there’s a need to have dialogue and discuss these issues as a group, “he said.
Recall that the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, had on Wednesday, frowned at the development and appealed to the Ghanaian parliament to review the $120 residency fee imposed on Nigerians living in Ghana.
Gaya, while congratulating the United States President-elect, Mr Donald Trump for winning the United States presidential election, added: “But I think he has to look at the issue of immigrants , the issue of refugees, the issues of countries that are in dire need of assistance.
He hinted on how he was elected the Vice President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in Geneva, Switzerland.
” A position of Vice Chairman, African Group of IPU was vacant and therefore, it was zoned to West Africa where three countries bid for that position. And finally, we negotiated and campaigned where it was agreed and left for Nigeria.
“That was why I was able to have the position. I think this is the first position this country ever got from IPU, the most high and strong position ever got from the IPU by the country.”
He said he would use the position to work for the unity of global parliament in general.
‘I hope I will work in the interest of getting the unity of the world global parliamentarians so that issues could be discussed like the last where we discussed the issue of immigrants, Visa fees and the problem of Boko Haram in Nigeria of which some international bodies have started joining to assist, “he said.
Speaking on immigration crisis, Gaya said:” People must understand that everybody is a migrant, we move from one place to another.
“If you look at the issue a long time ago, we are all migrants. But we end up settling in one location like we have settled in Nigeria. Long time ago, somebody’s parents came from somewhere. So what we are saying is that the issue of migrant is a very important matter.
” If crisis breaks out in one country, people have to leave for another country and we can’t just simply throw them away. So, we believe that the issue of migrants must be treated well and accepted.
“Nobody will want to force himself out of his country unless there’s war. “