The Acting High Commissioner of Nigeria to Ghana, Ambassador Gambo Yusuf Hamza, has appealed to the Ghanaian government, led by President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo, to consider the reopening of the land borders which were closed last year to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Amb. Hamza advised that the government could put strict measures for compliance with the COVID-19 protocol for the benefit of both Nigerian and Ghanaian petty traders who have been badly affected by the impact of the closure on their daily business transactions because of the hurdles and excessive amount of money they use in bringing in their goods by air.
Amb. Hamza made this appeal during an official visit to the Regional Minister, Mrs Justina Marrigold Hassan, on July 1, 2021 at the regional central office in Cape Coast. His Excellency, in his speech, stated that since he reported to office on April 22 this year, his major concern was to go round the regions to interact with Nigerians and also meet with the relevant Ghanaian authorities for the mutual benefit of both countries. He added that he is also seeking how collaborations between both countries can be achieved in sectors such as education, ICT, security, and tourism.
Amb Hamza further commended the peace enjoyed by Nigerians over the years in the Central region, and acknowledged the large population of Nigerians in the Kasoa district. He assured that he will also visit the district to see how the High Commission can collaborate with the Ghanaian authorities in reducing criminal activities over there.
In her response to the High Commissioner, the Regional Minister said the regional coordinating council is ready to collaborate with the Nigerian government, especially in the areas of business and tourism.
On the border closure, the Regional Minister said that the regional council does not have the power to decide over that issue, but will definitely convey the Ambassador’s appeal to the executive arm of the government and hope they come to a conclusion that will favour both sides.
She also pleaded with the High Commission to engage its citizens on the need to identify themselves with registered Nigerian Associations in Ghana to enable easy dissemination of information that are passed through the leaders of the association representing them as foreigners in the country.
Moving forward, in the quest to familiarize with divisional heads of authorities, Amb. Hamza paid a visit to the Central Regional Police Commander, DCOP Mrs Habiba Twumasi Sarpong, especially on issues bodering on security among Nigerians living in the Central region.
Stating that since he resumed office, reports so far showed that the Central region is one of the most peaceful regions occupied by Nigerians, except for the issues reported at the Kasoa district. Hence, why he is interested in working with Ghana Police to help address the issues concerning Nigerians in the area. He added that anyone found guilty of committing any crime should face the full wrath of the law, so as to serve as a deterrent to others.
The DCOP, Mrs Habiba Sarpong applauded the cooperation and collaboration of the Nigerian government in the bid to assist in curbing criminal activities in the country, especially in the area of human trafficking. She urged Nigerians to engage the Ghana Police in a continuous communication of events and any suspicious moves around them. She also urged Nigerians to remain law-abiding and peaceful and not hesitate to share necessary information about crime in their surroundings, assuring that their identities will always be kept safe from suspects or criminals. She added that there is need for the Nigerian government to also create some form of identification for Nigerians in Ghana and encourage leaders of Nigerian Associations in Ghana to report to the police if they have some Nigerians who are not willing to identify with the Associations, in order for the security personnel not to easily trace them when they commit crime, which is why some of them refuse to join the associations.
As part of his familiarization visit, Ambassador Hamza also paid a courtesy call on the Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Prof. Johnson Nyarko Boampong and the Paramount Chief of Cape Coast, His Royal Majesty (HRM), Osabarimba Kwesi Atta II,
the Omanhene of the Oguaa traditional area. He rounded off his visit by admonishing Nigerians in the region to remain law-abiding and good Ambassadors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in the Republic of Ghana.
– Bukola Bukky (in Ghana)