As efforts aimed at deescalate the simmering diplomatic row brewing between Nigeria and Ghana, indications have emerged revealing the reasons behind Ghana’s cold shoulders towards Nigeria of late. While promising that the issues between both countries will be resolved through available diplomatic channels, the Ghanaian minister of Information Kojo Nkrumah reacting to statements credited to his Nigerian counterpart Lai Mohammed said that it is on record that Nigeria has taken a number of steps “which have gravely affected other countries in the region”. Mr. Lai Mohammed had over the weekend said that Nigeria would no longer tolerate the harassment of its citizens based in the West African country.
Speaking on what led to the present altercations, Mr. Nkrumah said that Nigeria’s unilateral closure of Seme Krake border from August 2019 to date and the issuance of executive orders by Nigeria’s Presidency, preventing foreigners from getting jobs which Nigerians can do were responsible for the breakdown of relations between Ghana and Nigeria. “Ghana and other West African countries continue to believe redress to even actions like these can be sought, diplomatically, without resort to media statements and related activities that have the potential to aggravate further the situation”. The closure of the border according to the Ghanian minister negatively impacted the economy of Ghana and other West African countries as businesses lost huge sums of money and investments.
Mr. Lai Mohammed pointed out that the targeted attacks on Nigerian traders in Ghana and the demolition of a building in the Nigerian mission in Ghana are unfortunate events that should not be tolerated, saying that “Nigerians deserve better treatment in Ghana”.
But Mr. Nkrumah insisted that both countries will work out their differences adding that “the aforementioned notwithstanding, the President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who values very much his excellent relations with the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency Muhammadu Buhari, will engage President Buhari with a view to develop immediately a framework for validating claims of ill treatment of citizens of either country, and ensure citizens enjoy the full exercise of their rights, while respecting the sovereignty and laws of both countries.
“Ghana and Nigeria, as they have been doing, must continue to work together for a successful West Africa.” On the demolition of a part of Nigeria’s mission in Ghana, the minister said the federal government failed to complete the documentation process after paying for the land in 2000. “The High Commission failed to acquire the Lease and Land Title Certificate, which constitute documentation for the said property, as well as a building permit for construction,” he said. “In Ghana, land is owned not only by the government, but also by stools and families.” On the closure of shops of Nigerian traders, Nkrumah said the claim that the Ghana Investment Promotion Council (GIPC) has increased the fee for registration to $1 million is false.