Opinion | Jan 7, 2019

Should Ghana Demand A Revision Of The ECOWAS Protocols Allowing The Free Movement Of Citizens Of Members-States Across The Sub-Region?

The recent arrest of a Nigerian who had rented a property at Ofanko, and had turned it into a shrine full of filth, shocked many in Ghana who witnessed it whiles watching television news reports of the incident. The hapless landlord who had finally managed to secure a court order for the tenant to be ejected, was clearly relieved that the nightmare he had been going through, was coming to an end. Poor man.

That horrific story, illustrates perfectly, why Ghana should take the lead and demand an immediate revision of the relevant Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocols that allow the free movement of the citizens of members states of ECOWAS, which enables West Africans to move freely and live in member-nations of their choice in the sub-region. They are now untenable and counter-productive. Full stop.

All ECOWAS citizens must now be compelled to obtain clearance from their national police criminal investigations departments' headquarters. Ditto clearance from their national immigration service headquarters. They should be made to provide DNA samples, too, in addition to their submitted bio-data. Such data should be shared among the police and immigration authorities in all the ECOWAS states regularly. Nigeria in particular can post police and immigration officers here to assist Ghana to screen all Nigerian citizens currently resident in our country.

That will enable us deport the crooks ruining the good name of their homeland here with their criminal activities. Far oo many ECOWAS citizens with dubious backgrounds have been able to enter our country to live here freely - who hould never have been allowed to do so in the first place. It is such shady characters that have partnered Ghanaian fraudsters to turn our nation into a global power in internet fraud, for example. We must now get rid of all such foreign criminal-types in our midst as quickly as is practicable.

They are abusing our famed hospitality and should no longer be tolerated here. Once that is done, we will begin to see the many benefits of living with law-abiding fellow ECOWAS citizens - benefits that accrue to melting-pot-societies globally: which make their economies dynamic and growth-oriented. The question is: Should Ghana now demand a revision of the ECOWAS Protocols that allow the free movement of the citizens of members-states across the sub-region?

Enough is enough. Haaba.

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