Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Ghana has replied the Federal Government over last Friday’s statement issued by Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, decrying the acts of hostility against Nigerians by Ghanaian authorities.
Ghanaian Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, in a statement dated August 30, said issues outlined by Mohammed did not reflect the actual state of affairs.
Mohammed had listed the seizure and demolition of properties owned by the Federal Government in Ghana, the deportation of 825 Nigerians, closure of shops belonging to Nigerians, including residency permit requirements as part of Ghana’s acts of hostility against the country.
Nkrumah, however, said: “The Government of Ghana notes, with concern, a statement, dated Friday, August 28, issued by the Ministry of Information and Culture and signed by 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. Ghana finds it imperative, however, from the onset, to state, for the public record, that the outline of issues by my Nigerian counterpart is not reflective of the developments in Ghana. Any protests, decisions or actions based on these reports will, thus, be unjustified.
“We are obliged, therefore, as a first step, to provide our counterparts, as well as the Ghanaian and Nigerian publics, with a more reflective account of events, even as we pursue substantive diplomatic engagements to resolve matters.”
Nkrumah said the seizure of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 10, Barnes Road, Accra, which had been used as diplomatic premises by the Nigerian Government for almost 50 years, and which action, is a serious breach of the Vienna Convention, was inaccurate.
“This statement is inaccurate. The transaction was a commercial arrangement between Thomas D. Hardy, a private citizen and the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana on 23rd October 1959. The terms of the commercial lease expired 46 years ago, without any evidence of renewal by the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana. The Government of Ghana was not involved in the transaction and has not seized the property in question,” Nkrumah also said.