From Chuks Moses, Awka
Ghanaian nationals in Akwa Ibom have expressed fears that the unfair treatment being meted out to them in Akwa Ibom State over sale of fish could snowball into a major crisis if not nipped in the bud.
Their complaints came at the annual national gathering of Ghanaians which held this year in Awka, Anambra State.
They disclosed that their members were being inhibited from direct sales of fish in the market except through a middleman.
According to the Akwa Ibom delegation, their country’s High Commission was already in touch with the state governor on the issue.
Recall that the barring of Nigerians from retail trade in Ghana has been a sore point in the relationship between both countries.
Just last week, shops owned by foreigners, including Nigerians, were forced to be closed by Ghanaian traders and activists in the Kumasi Area. They cited the country’s laws to back their action.
Meanwhile, Ghaniaians living in Nigeria have been advised to go for e-registration as requested by the Federal Government, because it is aimed at administrative, planning, logistical purposes.
This advice was given in Awka by the Ghanaian High Commissioner to Nigeria at the annual meeting of his country’s nationals. They met under the aegis of the National Association of Ghanaian Communities in Nigeria.
Ambassador Rashid Bawa insisted that all must ensure they were duly registered in their own interest for accountability purposes and to enjoy diplomatic cover.
He also announced that Ghana Government has now opened two passport offices in Nigeria and South Africa where citizens could access and obtain the national passport. Until the new development, the passports were only obtainable in Ghana.
Addressing journalists at the end of the association’s 14th Delegates Conference, the Deputy National Secretary of the association, Mr Sam Kwesi Amoah, disclosed that the gathering was aimed at fostering good relationship with Nigerian hosts and to bring all Ghanaian citizens in Nigeria together to interact and assist one another.
Amoah, who has been in Nigeria for more than two decades, said the association was also to uplift the name of Ghana in Nigeria.
“We just briefed and educated members on the e-registration as required by the Nigeria authorities, intimated our members on the importance of regularizing their papers,” he added.
On the raging issue of xenophobic disturbances and killings in South Africa which seeming affected Ghanaians and Nigerians most, Mr Kwesi thanked the leaders of the affected nations for using diplomatic channels to tackle the menace.
He expressed happiness that such ugly trend is not in Nigeria and admitted that Nigerians have been good hosts to them.
About twenty-five Nigerians including a former deputy governor of Anambra state -Chief Abole Okoyeagu and the traditional ruler of Omasi, Igwe Benjamin Okeji were inducted as patrons and special award recipients of the association for their outstanding humanitarian gestures and assistance to society.