Don’t Attack Nigerians -MPs

Frank Annoh-Dompreh

Leaderships of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Interior and
Defence Committee of Parliament have expressed great concern over attempts by
some Ghanaians to prejudge crimes allegedly committed by Nigerian residents in
the country and reported attack on Nigerians in Kumasi following the kidnapping
of two Canadian ladies in Kumasi a fortnight ago.

The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Frank Annoh-Dompreh,
and his ranking officer, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, at a press briefing in Parliament
yesterday, said the trend is becoming very worrying and it has the tendency to
mar the relationship between Ghana and Nigeria.

According to the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Ghana
and Nigeria have a long standing relationship economically, socially and
culturally.

He said currently there are two million Ghanaians living in
Nigeria and conversely seven million Nigerians are living in Ghana who are
contributing to the respective economies of the two countries and that if
Ghanaians start any xenophobic attacks on Nigerians it will have dire
consequences on fellow Ghanaians living in Nigeria.

According to Mr. Annoh-Dompreh, who is also the MP for
Nsawam/Adoagyiri, there are genuine Nigerians living and working in Ghana who
are law-abiding and contributing positively to the economy of the country.

He said in the face of recent reported crimes involving some
Nigerians in the country and the tension that is being created between
Ghanaians and Nigerians in the country, the Foreign Affairs Committee is
planning to invite the High Commissioner of Nigeria to Ghana for a dialogue and
see the way forward as to how this tension could be eased and the relationship
between the two countries further strengthened.

The ranking member, Mr Ablakwa, who is also the MP for North Tongu,
emphasized the need for Ghanaians not to tag all Nigerians as criminals. He
stressed that if a Nigerian committed a crime he or she should be dealt with
according to the laws of the country.

He said Ghana and Nigeria have historic relationship that has
produced huge symbiotic benefits and so Ghanaians especially the media should
be careful in reporting cases of crime involving Nigerians and stop
stereotyping Nigerians.

The vice-chairman of the Interior and Defence Committee of
Parliament, Collins Owusu Amankwah, said crime does not have ‘colours’ and
advised Ghanaians to treat criminals as criminals and not whether they are
Ghanaians or Nigerians.

He, however, advised foreigners in the country to be  law-abiding residents and respect the laws of the country.

By Thomas Fosu Jnr



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