Former External Affairs Minister, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, on Thursday said that the admission of Morocco into ECOWAS was meant to whittle down Nigeria’s influence in the sub-regional body, and by extension, the world.
Akinyemi also said in a statement that the recent admission of Morocco into the regional organisation, was an anti-Nigeria move.
“Having failed to find any rational benefit to ECOWAS by expanding membership to Morocco, I can only conclude that the move is 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, but terminate her membership of ECOWAS,’’ he said.
According to him, this issue is the biggest challenge to Nigeria’s Foreign Policy since the civil war. Akinyemi noted that Morocco’s admission into ECOWAS would now make her benefit from the Arab League quota, as well as from the West African quota.
“The United Nations, the African Union and all international institutions now use the concept of regionalism in the distribution of both appointive and elective posts. “ECOWAS cannot unilaterally expand the boundary of West Africa to the Mediterranean,’’ he stressed.