The President of the Association of Foreign Relations Professionals in Nigeria, Ambassador Ganiyu Lawal, has urged the Nigerian government to remain neutral as the Russia-Ukraine conflict enters its second day.
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that Lawal, on Friday, told reporters that diplomacy remained the best way to resolve conflicts.
It was reported that Russia invaded Ukraine on Thursday, February 24, 2022.
According to NAN, Lawal advised that, rather than taking sides, Nigeria should join other nations in suing for peace.
“At this time, it is important that the Nigerian government should remain neutral, as we have been non-align all along.
“Nigeria should join other countries suing for peace, because the world needs peace at this time more than ever.
“The Nigerian government has made arrangements for her citizens who want to leave to leave as soon as the airports are opened.
“Where it is not possible, a safe corridor will be negotiated for evacuation of civilians,” Lawal said.
Commenting on the crisis, Lawal berated actors for not observing rules of engagement or towing the path of diplomacy.
He said that the world had a strong diplomatic architecture put in place to forestall bullying of smaller countries by bigger powers, through collective security efforts.
He said further, “However, in the face of glaring bullying by bigger power, the whole world will rise against it under the principle of collective security.
“And the bigger power will be defeated, no matter how strong, since it cannot simultaneously do battle on multiple fronts.
“The implication is to allow peace to reign and refrain from provocative moves that threatens world peace, respect for the rule and spirit of the rule of engagement,” Lawal added.
The AFRPN president further said that the ongoing crisis would have a ripple effect on the economies of Africa, and Nigeria in particular, as African countries rely on importation, NAN reported.
Lawal stated that it is high time African nations started trading internally amongst one another to avoid the kind of effect that conflicts like this would have on import-based economies.