Deportation of Nigerians from Ghana worrisome – Dabiri-Erewa
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa has described the reported mass arrests and deportations of Nigerians from Ghana as worrisome. Dabiri-Erewa made this known in a statement by her media aide, Abdul-Rahman Balogun, on Thursday in Abuja. She said that the information on the renewed harassment, arrest and deportation of hundreds of Nigerians from Ghana was disturbing. She, however, assured that the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Amb. Olufemi Abikoye was on top of the situation and was engaging with relevant authorities in Ghana. “While any Nigerian who commits a crime will have to face the wrath of the law, the situation of any Nigerian being inhumanly and unjustly treated, will not be acceptable,” she said. Dabiri-Erewa recalled the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018 when shops owned by Nigerian traders were locked in Ghana, which forced some of them to relocate back home. She said that the issue was amicably resolved between the two presidents in the spirit of brotherhood. Dabiri-Erewa, therefore, appealed to Nigerians living in Ghana to be good ambassadors of the country by abiding by the rules and regulations in that country. She also appealed to the Ghanaian authorities to be brotherly in their approach in dealing with Nigerians living in Ghana by reciprocating Nigeria’s kind gestures to Ghanaians in Nigeria. The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Abikoye during a meeting with the Comptroller-General of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Kwame Takyi said in Accra that 723 Nigerians had been deported from Ghana since January 2018 to date. Abikoye said during the meeting that the GIS linked prostitution and cybercrime as some of the reasons for the deportations. He, however, said that it was “improper” to deport Nigerians for alleged illegal stay in Ghana. Abikoye had observed that there were several Ghanaians living in Nigeria but the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) had never deported any of them because of brotherliness between the two countries. He reminded Ghana of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Protocol on free movement of persons to migrate to the respective member nations without necessary valid documents. He drew the attention of Takyi on several cases of molestation, harassment and torture of Nigerians by the GIS officials, especially those awaiting deportation at its facility. The High Commissioner told the GIS boss that the inhuman act was against the UN Convention against torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. He therefore implored Takyi to prevail on his officials to treat Nigerians and other ECOWAS nationals with human face and not as common criminals. However, the GIS boss said the service was being compelled to carry out the deportation because of the conduct of some Nigerian nationals in Ghana. According to him, besides engaging in cybercrime and prostitution, some Nigerians had become “law” themselves. He said that they engaged in blockage of roads in major Ghanaian streets where they drank, fought and stabbed each other, stressing that their “unruly” behaviour contravened the local laws in Ghana.