The Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, on Sunday, condemned the closure of shops owned by Nigerian citizens in Ghana and described the action as criminal and very disturbing.
He said, “The action of Ghanaian authorities against nationals of other countries particularly targeting Nigerians, indicated an official endorsement of xenophobic attacks.”
The senator stated this in a statement in Abuja by his Media adviser, Uchenna Awom, titled, “Closure of Nigerians shops in Ghana, disturbing – Abaribe.”
He said, “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 with the Economic Community of West African Countries protocol.”
The minority leader expressed regrets over the development and described it as a willful denigration of sub-regional brotherhood.
He also said Ghana’s recent regulations, which stipulates that retail trade is the exclusive preserve of Ghanaians, was in clear conflict with the ECOWAS protocol,
He said, “What’s the point of 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.
The senator, therefore, urged ECOWAS to brace up and come clear in the prevailing circumstances to address the member-country behaviour.
He said Ghana’s action has far-reaching implications on ECOWAS protocol, particularly the issue of free trade and movement among the peoples of the West African sub-region.
He said it was very unfortunate, that Ghana, which hitherto has been enjoying a robust relationship with Nigeria, in recent times, started treating Nigerians with so much contempt and underserved reprehension.
The latest actions, according to Abaribe, calls to question, their real intentions towards Nigeria and Nigerians, despite the fact that Nigeria had through her Foreign Affairs Minister, reached an agreement with Ghana Investment Promotion Council on this matter.
The Senator said, “Now they are reopening the matter. So what has changed? Nigeria I believe has done her best in the promotion of good neighbourlines.
“It is now for Ghana to reciprocate and allow our people in that country to carry out their legitimate businesses unhindered,” Abaribe added.