A former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, has called on Nigeria to leave the Economic Community of West African States if the organisation fails to drop a plan to accept Morocco as its member.
Last February, the Arab country made an official request to join ECOWAS in February, and has been campaigning to win the member states’ approval.
The development, Akinyemi noted, was inimical to Nigeria’s influence in the West African sub-region.
“Having failed to find any rational benefit to ECOWAS by expanding membership to Morocco, I can only conclude that the move is motivated by bad faith driven by the desire to whittle down Nigeria’s influence in ECOWAS, and by extension, in the world, as Nigeria’s status as a regional power is facilitated by its role in ECOWAS.
“Nigeria has only one option: Let the West African heads of State and presidents drop this whole issue of expansion to the Mediterranean or Nigeria should serve notice that it would terminate, not suspend, its membership of ECOWAS.
“This issue is the biggest challenge to Nigeria’s foreign policy since the civil war,” the former foreign minister stated.