FG Warns Ghanaian Authorities Over Harassment Of Nigerians

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Federal Government has warned Ghanaian authorities to desist from the hostility against Nigerians living in Ghana.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said this in a statement released on Friday, August 28.

This is coming against the backdrop of the imposition of $1 million trade levy on Nigerian traders in Ghana and the shut down of their business premises by the Ghanaian authorities.

Ghana’s Ministry of Trade had also given the traders a 14-day ultimatum to pay the fee failing which it would close their shops.

Though the requirement applies to all foreign-owned businesses in Ghana, Nigerian labour groups in Ghana have accused the authorities of targeting Nigerians specifically.

Reacting to the development, Mohammed said the government is deeply concerned over the incessant harassment of Nigerian citizens in Ghana and the progressive acts of hostility towards the country by Ghanaian authorities, “and will no longer tolerate such.”

He said the Federal Government is urgently considering a number of options aimed at ameliorating the situation.

Mohammed listed various acts of hostility carried out against Nigeria by Accra, including the seizure of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 10, Barnes road, Accra, which had been used as diplomatic premises for almost 50 years, stating that this was a breach of the Vienna Convention.

The minister also mentioned the demolition of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 19/21 Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra, and the incessant deportation of Nigerians from Ghana, adding that “825 Nigerians were deported from Ghana between January 2018 and February 2019”.

Other hostile action was the locking of over 300 Nigerians’ shops for four months in Kumasi in 2018, including the seal up of over 600 Nigerian shops in 2019 and, currently, over 250 Nigerians shops have been locked.

Mohammed stated;

The Federal Government will like to put on record the fact that even though, over one million Ghanaians are resident in Nigeria, they are not being subjected to the kind of hostility being meted out to Nigerians in Ghana.

He added;

Also, even though, the main reason given for the seizure of Federal Government property at No. 10, Barnes Road in Accra is the non-renewal of the lease after expiration, the Ghanaian authorities did not give Nigeria the right of first refusal or the notice to renew the lease.

By contrast, the lease on some of the properties occupied by the Ghanaian Mission in Nigeria has long expired, yet such properties have not been seized.

Mohammed concluded;

Nigeria has time after time demonstrated its fidelity to the long cordial relations with Ghana. But indications, especially in recent times, are that Nigeria’s stance is now being taken for granted and its citizens being made targets of harassment and objects of ridicule. This will no longer be tolerated under any guise.

Appealing to Nigerians in Ghana, he said;

In the meantime, the Federal Government wishes to appeal to its citizens resident in Ghana to remain law-abiding and avoid engaging in self-help, despite their ordeal.