Demolition of Bulgarian Embassy: This can lead to war - Okudzeto Ablakwa warns

Okudzeto Ablakwa1213131313 Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa is MP for North Tongu

Fri, 18 Mar 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ghana and Bulgaria have had diplomatic relations for over 60 years

Ghana is paying GH¢5.2 million to renovate destroyed Nigerian High Commission buildings - Okudzeto Ablakwa

This cannot be accepted - Okudzeto Ablakwa urges govt to resolve the impasse with Bulgaria

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has urged the Government of Ghana to tread with caution in the long-standing diplomatic situation it is having with Bulgaria over the demolition of its Embassy in 2017 by a private developer.

The MP, who is also the Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, explained that the current challenge could portend a messy diplomatic feud for the country, as it tramples on international conventions.

He added that Bulgaria has been a good ally of Ghana all these years, and it is in bad faith that they have to bear the brunt of such international embarrassment.

“When you hear the ambassador say that they cannot find all their documentation, their diplomatic exchanges, and that they do not know where they have been carried to, that is a grave matter. This is the international law that governs diplomatic missions; we all enjoy these privileges and protection.

“We have some 55 missions outside this jurisdiction, and our foreign mission staff enjoy these protections. We are obliged to offer the same protection to all diplomatic missions in our country. How is it that an Embassy belonging to the Bulgarians – a friendly country, a country we have had more than 60 years of diplomatic relations. Indeed, as recent as 2007, the Foreign Minister of Ghana, the honourable Nana Akufo-Addo, led a high-level delegation to Sofia, Bulgaria, and were very well received by the President of Bulgaria.

“They signed a joint cooperation agreement which we have been pursuing, so Ghana and Bulgaria have had long-standing relations, and you wonder why the State of Ghana will allow this to happen, and you see, if you go through the facts, we must as a people be clear that this is abhorrent, this is unacceptable,” he said.

Speaking on Friday, March 18, 2022, edition of Good Morning Ghana on Metro TV and monitored by GhanaWeb, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said that with the recent case of properties belonging to the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana having been destroyed, it is even more reason the government should be careful.

He also claims that the government is paying in excess of GH¢5.2 million to restore those properties.

“This is the second time this has happened. You remember that in 2020, there was a demolition of properties belonging to the Nigerian High Commission; perhaps, let me reveal here for the first that the contract sum for renovating those properties is GH¢5.2 million, and the Ghanaian taxpayer is bearing the cost. Those who masterminded the demolition were not surcharged; they’ve gotten away with it, we have not found them, we have not prosecuted them.

“We must be very clear as a country that this cannot be accepted; we will not allow this to become a trend because embassies, as you see established in our country, they represent the jurisdictions of those countries. When you invade an embassy, it is like invading that country. When you demolish their property, it is an act of aggression. Others can even consider it a declaration of war. That is why the Nigerian Senate had a full session – they were livid, they said that there must be immediate retaliation,” he added.

He warned that if this continues, it could just escalate into a war or conflict, soiling the many years of friendly diplomatic relations between Ghana and Bulgaria.

“It had to take President Akufo-Addo to call President Buhari, his counterpart and good friend, to apologize and promise that Ghana would take steps and immediately compensate them, which we have to bear. GH¢5.2 million is what we’re spending. So, these are not matters that you joke with: it can lead to war, it can lead to conflicts, it can strain relations, so, as for the inviolability – that principle is cardinal,” he said.


In 2017, a property that housed the Embassy of Bulgaria in Ghana was demolished by Dr. Yaw Adu-Ampomah, a current member of the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC).

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, March 16, 2022, a Deputy Minister, Kwaku Ampratwum-Sarpong, stated that the “government has got no hand in whatever the developer is doing.”

The Foreign Affairs Ministry insisted that all processes to secure the parcel of land for the foreign mission have proven futile.

The Embassy is said to have leased the property from the late Theophilus Kofi Leighton on February 1, 1979, and subsequently extended for 50 more years from 1983, during which the Embassy paid 1 million old Ghana cedis with the option of renewal for another 50 years.

The lease expires in 2033, per the Ministry’s statement.

Providing clarity on the matter, Mr. Apratwum-Sarpong explained that “upon the demise of the landlord, the Administrator of the Estate of the late Kofi Leighton attempted to forcefully repossess the property over alleged non-payment of rent arrears by the Bulgaria Embassy notwithstanding the latter’s full payment for the lease to the late Leighton.”

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Source: www.ghanaweb.com