By Sam Omatseye
He speaks for the country, and he spoke peace. In between Ghana and Nigeria, neighbours who duel and dwell together, war is never an option. Alienation will bear no fruit. So when both countries were at each other’s rhetorical throats, it seemed we were in an impasse. Foreign ministry jibed at foreign ministry. Spokesman threw barbs at spokesman. Both executives spat anger. The Ghanaian trader wanted peace to trade. The Nigerian merchant wanted a way to profit. Where was the way out?
Enter the Nigerian Speaker, Hon Femi Gbajabiamilla. He became not lawmaker, but peacemaker. He became ambassador, spokesman, negotiator, mollifier, shuttle diplomat, statesman, bridge maker. He became what prophet Isaiah called “the restorer of the breach.” He echoed Jesus Christ, who said “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons of God.”
He has leveraged what he did recently by pulling the speakers of parliament across the continent as a platform to resolve conflicts and promote progress. He has certainly done well so far. He belongs to the legislative branch. The real work still belongs to the executive. Speaker Gbajabiamilla had President Buhari’s nod to pursue the peace.
He has started well but the foreign ministry and others in government will have to work with the speaker who has broken the ice for peace.