The Speaker of the House of Representative, Femi Gbajabiamila will be in Ghana’s capital, Accra, Wednesday, September 2, 2020 to meet with Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo-Addo and other high-ranking members of the Ghanaian government to start diplomatic talks aimed at finding a permanent solution to the continuous harassment of Nigerian traders in Ghana.
A deep throat source within the Nigerian community in Ghana who spoke exclusively to mynigeria.com said that Speaker Gbajabiamila will make a stop at the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana to meet with officials of the All Nigerian Community (ANC) and the Nigerian Union of Traders Association Ghana (NUTAG).
The source said that the meeting at 10 am (Ghana time) will be to get firsthand information and get a true reflection on the matters on the ground. He further stated that he (Speaker Gbajabiamila) will meet with the Ghanaian parliament at a yet-to-be-disclosed time.
“The Speaker will be meeting the leadership of the Ghanaian parliament and I am sure he will meet the president also. There is no way the Speaker of Nigeria will come to Ghana without meeting the President referring to (President Akufo Addo),” he said.
The trade impasse which began after the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) introduced new set of law barring foreign nationals against engaging in retail trade has threatened to fracture the relationship between the two countries.
Last year, some foreign-owned retail shops of Nigerians were forced to shut down on the basis that their presence was ‘illegal’. In December 2019, the Ghana Union of Traders (GUTA) locked up over six hundred shops belonging to Nigerian retailers at Nkrumah Circle in Accra.
This move caused a clash between Ghanaian traders and Nigerian traders leading some persons involved to be arrested while others were badly injured.
After several attempts to get the attention of the Nigerian Government to the plight of Nigerian traders in Ghana, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Friday, August 28, 2020, issued a strong-worded statement condemning the continuous harassment.
According to the statement, he indicated that the Federal Government was working assiduously in mapping out a strategy that will permanently solve the impasse.
He said that the Nigerian Government has taken note of the actions by the Ghanaian government, stating that they (The Nigerian Government) "will no longer tolerate such".
Meanwhile, the Government of Ghana rejected the accusations by Nigeria of intimidation and maltreatment of Nigerian nationals in Ghana.
In a six-page response signed by its Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah and sent to the press on Sunday, August 30 2020, Ghana particularly denied several allegations by Nigeria and provided detailed explanations showing it was incorrect to suggest Nigerians were being targeted for maltreatment in Ghana.
“The Government of Ghana notes, with concern, a statement, dated Friday, August 28, 2020, issued by the Ministry of Information and Culture and signed by the Federal Minister, Hon. Lai Mohammed, on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, concerning current relations between Ghana and Nigeria.
Ghana remains committed to the maintenance of warm relations with all sister nations, particularly, for well-known historical reasons, with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and will proceed to engage the Federal Government of Nigeria with a view to resolve comprehensively and exhaustively any matters that have the potential to sour relations between the two countries” the statement said.