From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has insisted on the adherence to the ECOWAS protocol as far as the Ghana-Nigeria trade crisis is concerned.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, while responding to a question on the sidelines of the 2021 first ordinary session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja, said beyond Ghana and Nigeria, the position of ECOWAS is that member states should adhere to ECOWAS Protocol.
He specifically cited the protocol on free movement of goods and the protocol on free movement of people, which he said, should be the guide in the prevailing scenario.
The crisis between Ghanaian and Nigerian traders which has become a reccurring issue, witnessed the recent arrest of 500 Nigerians in Bolga, in Upper West region of Ghana.
The situation prompted the Nigerian traders in Ghana to call on the Federal Government to take urgent steps to stop the harassment of Nigerians living in Ghana.
President of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG), Mr Chukwuemeka Nnaji, while speaking on the development, said the 500 Nigerians were arrested by Ghanaian immigration and moved to the Aflao border without proper investigation to ascertain how they got to the country.
Brou, however, said the ECOWAS protocol superseded the national provision of member countries in specific areas since protocol was agreed on at the regional level.
“We are a community guided by protocol. And protocol supersedes the national provision of member countries in specific areas because protocol are agreed at the regional level.
“So, what we are telling, what we are insisting with each member country is that we should follow the proper implementation of the protocol. There is protocol on the free movement of goods, protocol on free movement of people, protocol on what people can do and so on.
“Let’s follow that. If we follow that, there shouldn’t be any problem. Usually, what happens is as a means of the interpretation of some of the provision of the protocol and some, non application of the protocol.
“That is what our focus is, what can member countries do in the implementation of the regional community protocol,” Brou said.