The predicament of Nigerians in Ghana

JUDGING by reports in the Nigerian media, diplomatic relations between the country and Ghana, arguably Nigeria’s most trusted ally in the West African sub-region, have never been worse. If, for the past three decades, both countries have enjoyed perhaps the best period of mutual collaboration and amity in their post-independence history, over the past several months, a certain chill appears to have crept into their diplomatic intercourse as Nigerians have expressed disaffection over a series of perceived injuries.

Of these perceived slights, three have stood out. The first is the accusation that the Ghanaian authorities, without any advance warning to their Nigerian counterparts, and contrary to the spirit of the Vienna Convention, occupied and seized the Nigerian Mission located at No. 10, Barnes Road Accra. Second, and again in apparent violation of the Vienna Convention,  the Ghanaian authorities are believed to have given their backing to the demolition of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 19/21, Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge Accra. Third, the Ghanaian authorities are believed to have embarked on an aggressive and arbitrary deportation drive, leading to the deportation of hundreds of Nigerians.

Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, must have had these perceived injustices in mind when, in a statement issued on August 28, he warned that Nigeria would no longer condone “acts of hostility by the Ghanaian authorities towards Nigeria and Nigerians.” The minister’s statement included a reference to “The negative reportage of issues concerning Nigerians resident in Ghana by the Ghanaian media” which is believed to be “fueling an emerging xenophobic attitude towards Nigerian traders and Nigerians in general. The immediate fallout is the incessant harassment of Nigerian traders and closure of their shops.”

As is to be expected, the Ghanaian authorities have pushed back against these allegations. In a statement released on August 30 by Ghana’s Ministry of Information, the country denied that it had anything to do with the seizure of the Nigerian Mission’s property at No. 10, Barnes Road, insisting that “The transaction was a commercial arrangement between Thomas D. Hardy, a private citizen and the High Commission of Nigeria,” and that “The terms of the Commercial Lease expired 46 years ago, without any evidence of renewal by the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana.” With respect to the property located at No. 19/21, Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge Accra, the statement insisted that “The demolition of the property was not carried out by agents of the Ghanaian Government, but by agents of the Osu Stool,” the presumed owners of the said property.

Nevertheless, as a peaceful gesture, the Ghanaian authorities offered to “restore the property, at its own cost, to its original state for the Nigerian High Commission, and has duly communicated same to the Nigerian Authorities.” Also, the Government of Ghana “agreed to facilitate the proper acquisition of title by the Nigerian High Commission, as announced by Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs at the time of the incident.” On the alleged arbitrary deportation of Nigerians, the Ghanaian authorities insisted that the 700 Nigerians deported were all individuals“found to have been involved in criminal activities such as fraud, prostitution, armed robbery, etc.”

We are pleased that the Government of Ghana has extended an olive branch to its Nigerian counterpart by promising to restore the property at No. 19/21, Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge Accra, at its own cost, and we encourage the Federal Government to meet the Ghanaian authorities halfway by accepting their proposal and committing to such additional measures as would lessen friction between the two countries. To this end, we would like to commend the Federal Government for empaneling a ‘Legislative Diplomacy’ team led by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila to travel to Accra with a view to having a series of meetings with top Ghanaian diplomatic officials.

It goes without saying that decades of mutual collaboration between the two countries have strengthened the bonds of sisterly affection and solidarity. Neither country has anything to gain from a thaw in diplomatic relations. As such, both countries should commit to measures and policies that will put diplomatic relations back on an even keel.



TOUGH POLICIES: IMF, World Bank Take Over Nigeria’s Economy •More Pains Ahead For Nigerians
ALTHOUGH this seems a difficult period for Nigerians, Sunday Tribune investigations have, however, revealed that it  could actually be a signal to the beginning of more unbearable pains in the form of economic policies as the Federal  Government continues to implement the stringent conditions of its international creditors…

What I See Around The Villa — Primate Ayodele
In this interview by KEHINDE OYETIMI, founder of Inri Evangelical Spiritual Church, Lagos, Primate Ayodele speaks on both global and local issues…

High Cost Of Fuel, Electricity Will Ruin Our Lives — Market Leaders, Business Owners Lament
CONDEMNATION of the hike in petroleum products and electricity went notches higher at the weekend as more  Nigerians flayed the decision of the Federal Government to take such a decision not minding the fatal blow dealt the economy by the coronavirus pandemic…

No Govt Has Raped Nigeria Like Buhari’s — Labour Leaders
WITH last week’s increase in the pump price of fuel, the organised labour has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against pushing Nigerians to the wall, saying no government has raped the country like the current administration. The labour leaders, in separate interviews with Sunday Tribune, said Buhari has lost touch…

P&ID $10B Scandal: How Govt Officials Frustrated Nigeria’s Case — Shasore
FORMER Lagos State Attorney-General (AG) and Commissioner for Justice, Olasupo Shasore, a Senior Advocate of  Nigeria, at the weekend opened up on the salacious scandal trailing the controversial contract crisis between Nigeria and an offshore Shell company, Process and Industrial Development Limited…

What Caused My Rift With Oshiomhole — Obaseki
THE Edo State governor and candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that one of the reasons his predecessor, Adams Oshiomhole is against his re-election bid is his reversal of the sale of Edaiken  Market, which Oshiomhole sold to his friends…

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More