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01.09.2020 Editorial

Editorial: Avoidable Diplomatic Spat (2)

Editorial: Avoidable Diplomatic Spat (2)
LISTEN SEP 1, 2020

It is better for Ghana and Nigeria to resolve diplomatic disputes behind media glitz and without acrimony, as the relationship between the two countries is akin to Siamese twins.

Occasionally, the two step on each other's toes as it occurs between siblings. These are soon resolved beyond public view. Nationals of both countries born before independence would recall the heated soccer rivalry between the two countries.

The late Ajax Bukana, a Nigerian migrant who eventually became a Ghanaian and a comedian of national acclaim, was always on the side of his adopted country with his mirthful jokes when the Republicans, Kwame Nkrumah's own team, scored against Nigeria.

Quarrelling in the public view opens the space for the media to jump into the fray as we are doing now. Of course, the niceties and subtleties of diplomacy when we turn our attention to such bilateral quarrels would be ignored for effect.

We are hard-pushed not to think that the Nigerian Foreign Minister Lai Mohammed was still reeling from the misinterpretation of the matters surrounding the demolition of the structure on the premises of the mission a few months ago.

Pushing what has already been resolved into the Tiptoe Lane affairs is unfair and exposes a top diplomat such as a foreign minister of an African giant to media and political opprobrium.

Crafting the statement from the Federal Government the way Lai Mohammed in a bid to berate Ghana does not make for a healthy relationship.

We have observed also the involvement of a Nigerian businessman/publisher aligned to the National Democratic Congress (NDC) flagbearer in the fuss about Nigerian traders at Tiptoe Lane.

His behind-the-scene stoking of the flame has not gone unnoticed. Having used his now moribund magazine to champion the cause of the former President now seeking a second term this man is breaching the standard which debars foreigners from associating themselves with the politics of the host countries.

His activities have come under the radar but what he should know is that he would fail and the bond of comradeship between the two countries shall endure.

In any case, no Nigerian has been arrested because they are operating shops at Tiptoe Lane as alluded to by the Foreign Minister in violation of prevailing laws. Although the kind of retail trading the Nigerian traders are engaged in constitutes infringement of the laws of the country, the defaulters have been given time to do what is necessary for them to continue to be in business and to live here.

In exhibiting good faith, a committee in retail trade made up of various representatives regulatory agencies investigated and discovered infractions of immigration, retail trade laws, among others, all of which were committed by both Ghanaians and foreigners, including Nigerians. Non-compliant players have not had their shops officially shut down but rather advised to remedy the anomalies.

Where has Ghana gone wrong to warrant the kind of harsh language used by Lai Mohammed or for that matter the Federal Republic of Nigeria?

---Daily Guide

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