Ghana Summons Ambassador over Criticism Trailing Closure of Nigerian-Owned Shops

The Ghanaian government has summoned Nigeria’s Chargé d’Affaires to Ghana, Esther Adebola Arewa, over the criticisms trailing the country’s decision to close over two hundred foreign-owned shops.

News Central gathered that most of the closed shops belong to Nigerians in the country.

In a tweet, Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, alleged that her Nigerian counterpart , Geoffrey Onyeama, tagged the crackdown on illegal foreign retail business in Ghana a politically motivated move.

Botchwey described Onyeama’s comments as ‘most unfortunate’, adding that the Ghanaian government did not target any particular nationality in the exercise.

She said that countries sometimes took tough decisions in order to enforce their laws just as Nigeria took a decision to shut its borders last year to prevent smuggling, despite its impact on ECOWAS member countries.

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According to her, Ghanaian laws bar foreigners from engaging in the retail business, especially in the market areas and local business owners have demanded that the authorities enforce the existing laws.

It will be recalled that diplomatic relations between the two countries have been strained in recent months, following the trade tensions and the demolition of a building belonging to the Nigerian High Commission by unidentified gunmen in Accra.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader, Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe has said that Ghana’s action against nationals of other countries, particularly targeting Nigerians, pointed to state endorsement of xenophobic attacks.

Abaribe, in a statement in Abuja on Sunday through his Media Adviser, Uchenna Awom, described as criminal and very disturbing the closure of shops of Nigerians in Ghana by authorities.

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Abaribe added that “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”.

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