Aggrieved Ghanians takes laws into their hands as they shut down a least 20 shops belonging to Nigerians under lock and key forcibly putting Nigerian spare parts dealers out of business in Kumasi, Ashanti region of Ghana, on Monday.
According to GhanaWeb, it was gathered that the traders revealed that they were being targeted by angry Ghanaians over the alleged involvement of Nigerian nationals in kidnappings that have been plaguing the country.
Recently, Four Nigerians were been arrested over the alleged kidnap of two Canadians. The arrested suspects were reported to have abducted Bailey Jordan Chitty and Lauren Patricia Catherine Tilley who were volunteering in Ghana.
The chairman of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association, Kizito Obiora, revealed in an interview that the budding attacks started last week .
He further went ahead to say, they have been forced to close the shops, and their attackers are demanding that they return to Nigeria. Although, the state police have intervened but some unidentified young men returned on Monday and demanded that they all close down their shops.
Some Ghanaian traders, however, said they were not out to intimidate foreigners but to encourage authorities to implement the statutory laws without fear or favour.
One of the locked shops (Photo credit: Luv Fm, Ghana)
They said most foreigners in the retail business were just selling their wares without paying taxes. They also accused Nigerians of selling substandard products described as a threat to consumers.
“Because of the Nigerians traders, most of the customers do not patronise the products of the Ghanaians as they are deemed as expensive.”
”They have destroyed Kumasi with their new substandard spare parts,” one of them was quoted to have said.
The police command in the area had since commenced investigations into the matter. Earlier, Olufemi Abikoye, Nigeria’s high commissioner to Ghana, had expressed -concerns over the manner in which the Ghanaian press had been “prioritising” negative reports about Nigerians.
In a statement he personally signed, Abikoye appealed to the Ghanaian media to stop referring to Nigerians based in Ghana as a bunch of criminals.
In related News, Ghana President, Nana Akufo-Addo some months back gave the assurance that the attacks against Nigerian traders in Ghana were being taken care of. He stated this at a meeting with Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari, in New York on the side-lines of the ongoing United Nations General Assembly.
Femi Adesina, special adviser to the president on media and publicity, made this known in a statement in Abuja. The Ghanaian leader said there was no intention to deliberately target Nigerians, noting that it was all about complying with the rules that guide trading in the country.
“I have met with the different groups and have been reassured that there was no agenda to send anybody away. It is just that they needed to regularise their positions according to the trading laws of the country,” Mr Akufo-Addo said.
He added that Ghana’s minister of trade and industry, Alan Kyerematen, had issued a press statement on the matter. The statement read:
“The Ministry of Trade and Industry wishes to inform the general public that the National Committee on Retail Trade will continue to ensure that all businesses operating in the retail trade sector of Ghana are given the opportunity and support to regularize their operations and comply with the laws and regulations in the country.”
“In this regard, all owners of the affected businesses and shops are requested to contact the relevant State Institutions and Agencies to regularize their operations as required by the various bodies under reference.”
“The ministry takes this opportunity to assure the general public, particularly the international community, that there is no orchestrated action by Government or any State Institution targeted at Nigerian nationals or any particular foreign nationals.’’
Mr Buhari, who expressed delight over the actions taken so far to address the situation, stressed that Nigeria and Ghana had a relationship that dated back in time. He, therefore, urged citizens of both countries to comply with the relevant laws.
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