Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Government has condemned the renewed attacks on Nigerian traders in Ghana, describing it as uncalled for.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abike Dabiri-Erewa in a statement made available by the Commission’s Head of Media and Public Relations, Abdur-Rahman Balogun, said the reported cases of attacks on Nigerians’ shops and traders by Ghanaians were quite unfortunate.
There has been tension between Ghanaian and Nigerian traders in recent time. Shops belonging to Nigerian traders in Kumasi were shut down this year allegedly by the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).
Ghanaian traders feel foreigners, particularly Nigerians, Chinese and Lebanese have taken over their retail business. Nigerian traders in Ghana were accused of allegedly recruiting their relatives from Nigeria and placing them at vantage points to gain hold of the market over their Ghanaian counterparts.
The bloody clash between Nigerian and Ghanaian traders in Accra, reportedly started on Monday. Six were said to have been arrested while others sustained injury. It was alleged that the fight followed the closure of shops belonging to some Nigerian traders at Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Ghana. Dabiri-Erewa said the attacks came when xenophobic attacks was becoming unpopular and thought such attacks had been put to the dustbin of history following interventions of Nigerian and Ghanaian leaders.
In a statement condemning the attacks, Nigeria’s High Commissioner, Michael Olufemi Abikoye said the Commission was doing “everything possible to resolve the issue.”As at press time, the Commissioner said there was an “on-going dialogue between the High Commissioner and Ghanaian Government functionaries on the best way to permanently put the situation under control.”
He said the district police commander, Nima Police Station, Abraham Acquaye advised that the shops remain locked for possible dialogue to take place. Abikoye appealed to Nigerian traders to “remain calm and never take laws into their hands.”