The Federal Government has said it will no longer tolerate harassment of its citizens in Ghana and the progressive acts of hostility towards the country by Ghanaian authorities. This was contained in a statement issued by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in Abuja on Friday.
He 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.”
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 else it would close their shops.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed while reacting to the development said the Federal Government is urgently considering a number of options aimed at ameliorating the situation.
He 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 actions include the locking of over 300 Nigerians’ shops for four months in Kumasi in 2018, including the sealing up of over 600 Nigerian shops in 2019 and, currently, over 250 Nigerians shops have been locked.
Recall that in June, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama had also condemned what it termed as criminal attacks on its diplomatic premises in the Ghanaian capital, Accra.
Onyeama said that a building within the compound was demolished by unidentified persons using a bulldozer.
In his aggrieved tweet, “We strongly condemn two outrageous criminal attacks in Accra, Ghana, on a residential building in our diplomatic premises by unknown persons in which a bulldozer was used to demolish the building,”
Onyeama said that every effort was being made to find the people behind the incident and secure the lives of its citizens and their property, engaging the Ghanaian Government and demand urgent action to find the perpetrators and provide adequate protection for Nigerians and their property in Ghana,”
With the recent harrasment, Nigerians who expressed their dismay called on the Government to look critically into the situation and do the needful.
Meanwhile, Mohammed stated that 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.
“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.”
The Minister added that 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.