Nigerians living in Ghana are now living in perpetual fear as Ghanaians have turned on Nigerian traders doing business in Ghana. Ghanaian media over the last few weeks has been dominated with reports of criminal activities committed by Nigerians in Ghana.
The Picture of a newspaper report by The Chronicle (Not to be confused with The News Chronicle) carried a screaming headline NIGERIANS AT IT AGAIN! was recently all over social media. It is now a daily occurrence for news of Nigerians getting involved in one crime or the other to hit front pages of Ghanaian dailies.
The Nigeria Ambassador to Ghana, Akiboye Olufemi, said it is not fair for the Ghanaian media to criminalize Nigerians as there are credible Nigerians who are “astute businessmen, bankers, insurance brokers, teeming students as well as investors”.
In a statement signed by the ambassador, he asked the Ghanaian media to be sincere and balanced in its reportage. Akiboye said it is unfair to give the impression that Nigerians based in Ghana are disturbing peace in Ghana.
The statement reads, “The Ghanaian Press, both print and electronic as well as social media seems to have enjoyed a field day in demonising Nigeria which for all intent and purpose, is seen as a fraternal brother to Ghana.
“Captions such as Kidnapping in Ghana: Data shows Nigerians are largely involved in the menace, Two Nigerians shot dead in Upper West, Five Nigerians nabbed for armed robbery, Nigerians attempting to kidnap 4-year old boy at Mamobi as well as the unresolved kidnapping of three Ghanaian girls in Takoradi, kidnapping of the Honorary Consul and Head of Mission of Estonia to Ghana, kidnapping of an Indian businessman and kidnapping of two Canadian girls in Kumasi recently rescued, have become worrisome daily reportage which has caused untold pains, agony as well as apprehension to the teeming law abiding Nigerians living in Ghana.
“Suffice to say that at times like this, a situation where five Ghanaians in company of three Nigerians allegedly kidnapped two Canadians but seems to enjoy wider press coverage as a crime committed by the Nigerians and considers Ghanaians only as accomplices leave much to be desired on the objectivity of such report.
“In the light of the above, the High Commission wishes to appeal to the local traditional media and social media to be highly circumspect in such reportage.”
The Ambassador stressed that the Nigerian government will not condone any of its citizens committing crime in the country.
In a related development, Ghanaian comedienne, Afia Shwarzenneger also in a reaction to recent attacks suffered by Nigerians in Ghana, said although she personally holds nothing against Nigerians as most of her friends and staff are Nigerians but some Nigerians engaging in crimes are bringing the country into disrepute. She called on the authorities to keep them in check.
In a post on her Facebook page, the comedienne listed some of the crimes committed by Nigerians in Ghana. According to her, the crimes are beginning to make Ghanaians feel awkward about the continued stay of Nigerians in their country.
She was reacting to reports of Nigerians who had their shops raided by some angry youths.