The High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana has denounced the selective malignment of Nigerians resident in that country by the media.
Irked by the development, the Nigeria High Commissioner Olufemi Michael Abikoye charged the local media and the social media to be “highly circumspect in their reportage.”
In a statement made available to our correspondent, the envoy observed that “the Ghanaian Press: print and electronic as well as social media, seem to have enjoyed a field day in demonising Nigeria which for all intent and purpose, is seen as a fraternal brother to Ghana.”
He said the negative reports on Nigerians “have become a worrisome daily reportage which has caused untold pains, agony as well as apprehension to the teeming law-abiding Nigerians living in Ghana.”
The envoy noted that majority of Nigerians resident in Ghana “comprise astute businessmen, bankers, insurance brokers, teeming students as well as investors that are daily trooping to Ghana.”
Citing an example of the “negative reportage, ”Abikoye said “a situation where five Ghanaians in company with three Nigerians allegedly kidnapped two Canadians but seems to enjoy wide press coverage as a crime committed by the Nigerians and considers Ghanaians only as accomplice leave much to be desired on the objectivity of such report.”
He described as “terribly worrisome” a situation where the Ghana media “take the actions of an insignificant few elements from Nigeria to criminalise and to unfairly or unreasonable canonise a brotherly country like Nigeria as a country of criminals who have come to disturb the peace of Ghana.
“Nigerians and Ghanaians alike stand to be condemned in its totality and punished according to the municipal laws of the land if found guilty,” he said, just as he warned that “the excellent relations that subsist between Nigeria and Ghana as maternal, brotherly countries” under President Muhammadu Buhari and President Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo “can never be allowed to be jeopardised by xenophobic tendencies over such intents.”
The envoy said the High Commission “does not and will never condone some misguided youth that have taken to criminality as a way of life regardless of nationality, creed or colour, ”stressing that the media trial of Nigerians arrested “could be seen as prejudicial to the outcome of the ongoing prosecution in court which sees them as innocent until proved guilty.”