FG assembling facts to engage Ghanaian Govt over hostile treatment to Nigerian traders- Minister

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, says the Nigerian Government has immediately swung into action to address the incessant attack on Nigerian traders in Ghana by the Ghanaian government.

Onyeama, however, said to achieve a meaningful result, the government must first get in touch with ECOWAS to know its perspective on the situation and if the Ghanaian Retail Code was in contravention to ECOWAS protocols.

He was speaking when representatives of the Nigerian Traders in Ghana under the aegis of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (PAN) paid him a visit in Abuja.

The visit was necessitated by the urgent need for the Nigerian Government to intervene in the recurring attacks on Nigerian traders in Ghana.

Addressing the traders, the Minister said it was also very important to get all the facts of the situation before the Nigerian Government could act and engage with the Ghanaian authorities.

“What is the point of having an economic community if, at the end of the day, each country would make laws and regulations in contradiction of that? This has been a recurring nightmare and concrete measures need to be taken and the first step we want to take is to be sure of all the facts before we act.

“So, this will entail hearing from the Ghanaian Government. We have summoned the Ghanaian High Commissioner, who has given us information. We have the intention of recalling our Charge d Affaires in Ghana for consultations and again, to get the facts because she is on the ground there.

“We are also going to get in touch with ECOWAS to also understand clearly what the ECOWAS perspective on this is, with this law in contravention of the ECOWAS protocol.

“So, once we have all the facts then we will consider all our options with the Ghanaian Government, so we don’t want to anticipate what our actions will be but all our options will be there depending on the facts,” he said.

The Minister said if the position of the Ghanaian government contravenes the ECOWAS Protocol, then the Federal Government will have to look at ECOWAS solution including the ECOWAS Court as a final arbiter.

According to Onyeama, the Ghanaian government should also look at reciprocity, as Nigeria had created an enabling environment for Ghanaians to operate in and so, Nigerians should enjoy the same privilege in Ghana.

He assured that the matter would be addressed in the shortest time possible.

Earlier in his remarks, Mr Jasper Emenike, President of PAN, had on behalf of the Nigerian traders in Ghana called for the urgent intervention of the Nigerian Government to calm the burning tension.

According to him, what was most urgent was for the Nigerian Government to check rising tensions to avoid people being killed in the process.

He also called on the Minister to ensure the review of Nigerian Foreign Policy, especially as it affects Nigerian Retail Trading in Ghana.

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