On the 25th of August, 2020, Nigeria’s Charge d’Affaires to Ghana, Esther Adebola Arewa was summoned by the Minister of Foreign affairs, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchway. This was in regards to protests attributed to Nigeria’s Foreign Minister concerning Ghana’s handling of foreign retailers in the country.

The summons concerns the crackdown of shops closed down earlier this month. Nigeria’s Foreign Minister made some tweets that were deemed unsuitable from a series of tweets. The Minister said in a tweet that the lock up foreign retail shops some of which belong to Nigerians was to gather votes from the citizens by the current government.

Ghana and Nigeria have been enjoying good diplomatic relations for a long time and comments like these were described by her as “most unfortunate”. This has caused a strain on the relationship between the two countries. The decision to temporarily close down foreign owned retail shops some of which are owned by Nigerians was legally enlisted and enforced by the law enforcement of section 27(1) of the GIPC Act.

On the 19th of August, 2020 over a hundred of Nigerian traders in Ghana were seen marching towards the Nigerian High Commission to protest over the closure of their shops. These shops were closed down not by deliberate means but by the Presidential Committee on Retail Trade under the Ministry of Trade and industry.

Also the closure of borders by Nigeria with Benin affected traders across the region immensely including some Ghanaian traders. The Minister for Foreign Affairs made reference to this in her tweets also, pointing out that Nigeria’s actions also hurt Ghanaians. Explaining that the closure of boarders brought many Ghanaian exporters to a halt in the business field.

In order to ensure and promote peace between the two countries, an apology was rendered on behalf of Ghana’s government to Nigeria, after the incident looked to pose a threat to the peace between the two neighboring countries.

SOURCE: | Amoanimaa Agyemang


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