Veteran journalist and publisher of Ovation International, Chief Dele Momodu has waded into the ongoing discussion on the continuous harassment of Nigerian traders in Ghana.
According to Momodu, the best way to settle the impasse which has the tendency of straining the cordial relationship between Ghana and Nigeria is if President Buhari puts a call through to Ghana’s President, Nana Akufo Addo
He further noted that the issue needed to be solved now rather than after the upcoming election in Ghana.
“Our president should put a call through to President Nana Akufo-Addo. Nigerian traders cannot wait until after the elections. They are suffering.” Momodu said on Channels TV.
“The government must be seen not to have abandoned their people in Ghana. Three months, unless you want these guys to die. In fact, one of them last year, if we investigate committed suicide because of a similar situation,” Mr. Momodu said.
“The only person who help these guys now is our dear beloved president and he must act. Let him reach out to them, if our foreign minister needs to fly into Ghana urgently, please let him go there, appeal to the government to please have mercy on these people,” he said.
He further added that “If they are not going to have mercy on then we must at least find a way to temporarily evacuate them.”
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.
President of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG), Chukwuemeka Nnaji addressing journalists said he is worried by the silence of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) in addressing the trade impasse.
“I want the two governments, [Ghana, Nigeria] to settle this trade impasse amicably and I am still worried and concerned why the ECOWAS President has not spoken at this point. There has been no official response from the ECOWAS Secretariat or Parliament and the Speaker of ECOWAS must speak now,” he stressed.
“I also want to stress that some of us [Nigerian traders] will like to go home and some of us are ready to go home. Ghanaians should stop harassing, intimidating and attacking us [Nigerians]. We thank them for the hospitality that has been shown to us over the years.”