Fred Itua, Abuja
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) senators have described as ‘criminal and very disturbing’, the closure of shops of Nigerians in Ghana by authorities.
Senate Minority Leader Enyinnaya Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of PDP senators in a statement in Abuja by his Media Adviser, Uchenna Awom, said Ghana’s action against nationals of other countries particularly targeting Nigerians, points to State endorsement of xenophobic attacks.
‘The authorities in that country need to prove us wrong by putting a halt to further closure of the shops and attacks on Nigerians in compliance to the Economic Community of West African Countries (ECOWAS) protocol,’ he said.
The minority leader further described the action as a willful denigration of sub-regional brotherhood and one that is in clear conflict with ECOWAS protocol. He said Ghana’s recent regulations, which stipulate that retail trade is the exclusive preserve of Ghanaians, must be condemned.
‘So what’s the point having an economic community if at the end of the day each country resolves to make laws and regulations that are in contradiction with the binding protocol. This is quite absurd as it negates the spirit that propelled the formation of ECOWAS in the first place,’ Abaribe added.
He accordingly urged ECOWAS to brace up and come clear in the prevailing circumstances to address the member-country behaviour and its far-reaching implications in her protocol, particularly the issue of free trade and movement among the peoples of the West African sub-region.
He said: ‘It is very unfortunate that Ghana, which hitherto has been enjoying a robust relationship with Nigeria, has in recent times been treating our people with so much contempt and underserved reprehension.’
The latest actions, Abaribe added, calls to question their real intentions towards Nigeria and Nigerians. He said this has continued despite the fact that Nigeria had through her Foreign Affairs Minister, reached an agreement with Ghana Investment Promotion Council on this matter.
‘And now they are reopening the matter. So what has changed? Nigeria I believe has done her best in the promotion of good neighbourliness, it is now Ghana’s to reciprocate and allow our people in that country to carry out their legitimate businesses unhindered,’ Abaribe added.