A FACTUAL LOOK AT THE GHANA MINISTER’S RESPONDS ON THE MALTREATMENT OF NIGERIANS IN GHANA.
As much as the Nigerian community in Ghana is trying its best to pull out of a dance invitation made by the sound of war drums beaten by the Ministry of Trade and Ghana Authorities, it is prudent for both parties to present the facts to their people, to find a lasting solution, This issue has gone beyond diplomatic lies because even the Nigerian man selling bread in Circle have been armed with all facts and pieces of evidence as far as this matter is concerned. Coming out with such a press statement is trying to downplay the intelligence of the Nigerian community and over 2 million intelligent Nigerians living in Ghana. Before now, it worked very well but with the use of electronic gadgets and smartphones, it is high time politicians realize it can never be business as usual.
It will interest the public to note that the Nigerian high commissioner went to Abuja armed with so many videos and pictorial shreds of evidence submitted by victimized Nigerians which has been viewed by the office of the president and other senior government bodies. Both sides must come out clean to find a lasting solution.
There is a saying that says “If you don’t want to lie then don’t steal “.
Below we have carefully listed the Accusations of the Nigerian community against Ghana. Ghana response highlighted in red while Facts, as provided by the Nigerian Mission, highlighted in yellow.
- I) Accusation:
Also, even though the main reason given for the seizure of Federal Government property at No. 10 Barnes Road in Accra is the non-renewal of Lease after expiration, the Ghanaian authority did not give Nigeria the right of first refusal or the notice to renew the Lease. By contrast, the lease on some of the properties occupied by the Ghanaian Mission in Nigeria has long expired, yet such properties have not been seized.
Response: The Government of Ghana does not, did not, and never owned the land, and has not been involved in the seizure of any property of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana. The land in question is owned by the Osu Stool and managed by the Lands Commission.
In response to the claim that the lease on some of the properties owned by the Ghana Mission in Nigeria has long expired, it must be noted that the Government acquired a freehold land at Pope John Paul II Street in Abuja in 1989 through a commercial arrangement, and built the current structures on it. The staff of the Ghana High Commission in Abuja have been living there since the construction of the current structures.
FACTS ON GROUND
According to a meeting we had with the Charge Affairs of Nigeria to Ghana after the demolition of the mission house, She brought to our knowledge that the property (not the demolished one) in question has been occupied for up to 50 years on the lease, the Ghana lands commission was supposed to serve the Nigerian Diplomatic mission a letter of notice, either for interest to renew the lease or evacuate. That they refused to do before forcefully taking the property.
And according to her, 6 properties have been given to Ghana so far in Nigeria without Ghana paying for the property or paying for renewal under the same arrangement.
- II) Accusation:
Demolition of the Nigerian Mission’s property located at No. 19/21 Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra, which constitutes another serious breach of the Vienna Convention.
This statement is not factual. A search at the Lands Commission indicated that the Nigerian High Commission failed to complete the documentation process after paying for the land in the year 2000 A.D. The High Commission failed to acquire the Lease and Land Title Certificate, which constitute documentation for the said property, as well as a building permit for construction. In Ghana, land is owned not only by the Government but also by Stools and Families.
FACT ON GROUND
The Nigerian mission has made available to the public a copy of the letter signed and issued by both Osu stool and ministry of lands after payments have been received.
III. The demolition of the property was not carried out by agents of the Ghanaian Government, but by agents of the Osu Stool. Nonetheless, the Government of Ghana, valuing the relations between our two countries, has decided to restore the property, at its own cost, to its original state for the Nigerian High Commission, and has duly communicated same to the Nigerian Authorities. The Government of Ghana has also agreed to facilitate the proper acquisition of title by the Nigerian High Commission, as announced by Ghana’s Minister for Foreign Affairs at the time of the incident.
I SALUTE TEAM was the first team to get to the scene and once again I will attach a picture of Ghana Police guiding the demolishers of the building. 3 calls were made to the Ghana police whose headquarter is just 5 minutes away. The fact that they came when the demolition was going on and it was allowed to go on without arrest is a sign of been sanctioned at least by the security of Ghana which means sanctioned by the Ghana Government.
Aggressive and incessant deportation of Nigerians from Ghana. Between January 2018 and February 2019, Eight Hundred and Twenty-Five (825) Nigerians were deported from Ghana.
This statement is not factual. In 2019, seven hundred (700) Nigerians, who were found to have been involved in criminal activities such as fraud, prostitution, armed robbery etc., were deported.
FACTS ON GROUND.
I may not have details of everyone that was deported but a special case of one businessman we followed, he lives around Madina, he has 2 shops, and happily married to a Ghanaian, he was at a bar at east Legon drinking when the raid was carried out. He was one of those detained for one week before later deported. In that case, we even contributed to buy him a ticket for his deportation because we didn’t want him to face the stress of been dumped at the Togo border as usual. Fraud stars are never deported, In fact police are known to be very close to them and celebrate them heavily as many have funded some projects in the past. Those your so-called deported prostitutes are they more criminal that the thousands of girls still hanging out right at the heart of east Legon and Osu ? It will do us good to also know those that were deported for armed robberies that were never published in the media.
Residency permit requirement, for which Ghana Immigration Service has placed huge fees far higher than the fees charged by the Nigerian Immigration Service. These include the compulsory non- citizen ID card (US$120, US$ 60 for yearly renewal); medical examinations, including for COVID-19 which is newly introduced (about US$ 120), and payment for residency permit (US$ 400 compared to the N700,000 being paid by Ghanaians for residency card in Nigeria).
It must be noted that all foreigners, who apply for resident permit in Ghana, pay same fees as stated above. These fees are not specific to Nigerians.
FACTS ON GROUND
We have spoken to the Ivorian communities, the Milan communities, the Chinese, the Lebanese, the South Africans, Americans, and Jamaicans, none of them have been arrested or are in cells for a resident permit, or have their shocks locked. The definition of a foreigner is a man that holds a green and white passport.
Anyway, the fact is I pay 400 dollars annually for a resident permit, Kwame in my village pays nothing, and KOJO my friend in Lagos who owns a hotel pays 7,000 nairas (90 ghc ). While Nigerian Students are made to pay in dollars or use the school rate they will be given which is usually a big daylight robbery.
“Media war against Nigerians in Ghana. The negative reportage of issues concerning Nigerians resident in Ghana by the Ghanaian media is fuelling an emerging xenophobic attitude against Nigerian traders and Nigerians in general.
The immediate fallout is the incessant harassment and arrest of Nigerian traders and closure of their shops.”
The statement is not factual. There is no media war against Nigerians in Ghana. There is also no negative reportage on Nigerian residents in Ghana by Ghanaian media, which could potentially lead to xenophobic attitude towards Nigerians, particularly Nigerian traders in Ghana.
FACT ON GROUND.
There is a big media war against Nigerians to the extent one of the leading Journalists in the country once warned on Metro Good morning Ghana that when it comes to media war they should not underestimate the intelligence of the Nigerian media. I will just touch on just a few that happened last year.
- Last year when UTV reported a case of one Mr. Lucky been deported for being a Bimp that he brought the girls to ghana for prostitution They later apologized through one of the elders and paid some money as compensation when he wanted to take them on.
- The same UTV reported a case of a Nigerian man who killed a woman and put her body inside the trunk of the car, which was found to be false they apologized.
- When a case of 4 Nigerians who were accused of gang-raping a girl in Tema. All the media houses reported it as the world cup, as I speak to you, the case has no facts and has been thrown out of court but no media will do damage control. Here is a link to the story. http://isaluteonline.com/breaking-news-the-nigeria-boys-no-rape-anybody-court-vex-throway-the-case/
- A man was almost beaten to death in Nima last year accused of trying to kidnap a child, it was reported in every media only to found out it is false, the man came to look for his girlfriend, to date no reverse reportage. link is here http://isaluteonline.com/fake-news-alerts-the-nigerian-man-wen-people-beat-yesterday-for-nima-ghana-no-be-kidnapper/
- The case of the kidnapper of Canadian girls, 9 or more people arrested, Two Nigerians, despite having a notable political tug among them, the smallish hungry-looking Nigerians were the focus of media attention.
- A man from Niger republic was arrested for False document, it was intentionally reported by the media as a Nigerian. link here. http://isaluteonline.com/fake-news-alert-ghana-nia-registration-make-media-stop-dey-give-nigeria-bad-name/
- A Ghana man shot and killed police it was instantly reported that he is a Nigerian by Joy news. find a link of the story below.
Police Shooting : Nigeria Community for Ghana fit sue Joy & other TV station.
8 On the Night of the demolition of the Nigerian mission. As big as the news is, five media houses were called one showed up, the only one that came by noon the next day reported that the house was demolished by unknown armed me. If not for the hard work of Nigerian media men on the ground that floored everywhere with secret video recordings and pictures, the case would have been subdued using the media apparatus as usual.
A few months ago, a Nigerian man was shot by the Ghana police, a man that is married with a six weeks old baby, The media reported it that a lunatic has been shot. well, that is still under investigation.
The Nigerian media have the facts to go on and on, but like always we will keep it until we are pushed.
That three hundred (300), six hundred (600) and two hundred and fifty (250) shops belonging to Nigerians were closed down in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively
Upon evidence that some individuals, including Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians, had been involved in various forms of trade, without complying with the laws and regulations of Ghana, several engagements and prior advice had been given to encourage compliance.
Ghana’s Minister for Trade and Industry personally intervened to ensure the reopening of closed shops, pending compliance with Ghana’s laws by their operators.
Among other corrective measures, the Committee on Foreigners in Retail Trade, comprising representatives of various regulatory agencies and institutions in Ghana, was tasked with the responsibility of conducting inspections of retail shops in designated commercial districts in both Accra and Kumasi to ensure compliance with retail trade laws and regulations.
The compliance exercises conducted in the selected markets revealed gross violations of retail trade laws and regulations by Ghanaians and foreigners, including Nigerians. These violations included tax evasion, immigration offenses, trading in sub-standard products, violation of the Ghana Investment
Promotion Centre (GIPC) law, improper registration of firms, under-payment of business operating permits, falsification of documents, among others.In all cases, non-compliant shop owners are given adequate notice to regularize their documents, before action is taken to close any shop/business.
It is an incontestable fact that there is widespread abuse and disregard for local laws and regulations governing retail trade by some foreigners, including Nigerians, which need to be addressed without discrimination. It is important to note that the compliance exercise under reference is not restricted to either ECOWAS nationals or Nigerians for that matter, but extend to all individuals engaged in retail trade, including Ghanaians.
FACTS ON GROUND
The Nigerian media team in Ghana, has conducted an investigation, speaking to other foreigners in the same trade and I can tell you that not the Togolese, Ivorians, Kenya’s, etc are asked to pay 1 million dollars, none of their markets have been closed down, in a statement the foreign minister made it clear on national TV that it is a retaliation for border closures.
Harsh and openly biased judicial trial and pronouncements of indiscriminately long jail terms for convicted Nigerians.
Ghana’s courts, at all material times, function independently, and with strict respect for the Laws of Ghana, regardless of the nationalities of accused persons. Judges neither convict nor sentence with a bias for or against nationalities. Nigerians and Ghanaians convicted for the same offenses are not treated differently.
FACTS ON GROUND
Police and Immigrations go to forcefully jump into Nigerian residents, they even cut down electric fences to get access to Nigerians. But we have never seen them jumped into the house of other foreigners. I have been to court and sentenced to a fine for driving with a Valid Nigerian International License, even when it was written at the back name of the countries I can drive with. I was not allowed to say anything in the MTTU Court, I was only told go and pay, you have nothing to say, can you do this in Nigeria where you came from? Or you want to come here and tell us what to do?
Find listed below some of the Nigerian prisoners in NSAWAM prison and their sentences. It will do the Ghana Authorities a big good to publish the offenses of these prisoners of which some have casemates that are Ghanaians in the same case and what are their sentences.
I hope they are all sentenced for Armed robberies, Kidnapping, and Drugs.
1) MR KELECHI DURU (LIFE IMPRISONMENT)
2) MR KINGSLEY LAWANI
3) MR OBINNA ONAZORIELSO
5) MR ASTON DURU
6) MR OEARGE (George) JABAL
7) MR DAVID DELE
8) MR ROBERT TOSION (Tosin)
9) MR SHEDARCK EPA
10) MR VICTOR OYEGIUWA
11) MR EKENE ANOZIE (30 YEARS)
12) MR JOESEPH DAVID (15 YEARS)
13) MR JOE EZE
14) MR RICHIMOND THOMAS
15) MR JERY MORE
16) MR STANLEY OBALEKORE
17) MR CHIDI EZE
18) MR EVANS EJIKE
19) MR VICENT MIKEAL (25 YEARS)
20) MR BENJAMIN AGU (25 YEARS)
21) MR PETER OBI SUNDAY
22) MR MARK ADIJUN LATIY
23) MR JOHNSON ELOUDIOS
24) MR DANIEL KORO
25) PRINCE NDUBUISE OYENGBN
26) MR ALI MOHAMMED (25 YEARS)
27) MR ALI ALAMU
28) MR ALBUDH WASIDI (30 YEARS)
29) MR EMEKA OSONDU (35 YEARS)
30) MR IFEANYI OSUCHUKWU
31) MR JOE FREEZER
32) MR IBRAHIM RAZAK (30 YEARS)
33) HENRY SAMUEL
34) MR PROMISE EMEKA OJIAKU
35) MR JIM RICHARD
36) UCHE PHIDALIS (Fidelis)
37) MR BRISHET JAMES
38) MR MARK FISH
39) MR UGO CHUKWU IPO
40) MR RICHARD OKEKE (15 YEARS)
41) FUSANI (Fuseini) ANIADA
42) MR KELVIN OGBONNAYA
43) MR MOHAMMED GRUBA
44) MR DAVID DAUDA
As much as Nigerians want to live in peace and harmony making money does not take away our intellectual abilities. It will interest Ghana to note that Nigeria has some young talented media men that will not just talk without digging deep, The idea of always using Nigeria as a black shield and making the Nigerian community look criminal and Dump for selfish and political interest is long gone it will help us all if we don’t embarrass ourselves further from both sides of governments.
Put together by I SALUTE MEDIA FOR ANC GHANA.