The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Senator Musiliu O. Obanikoro, has called on Nigerians living in Ghana to be law-abiding by comporting themselves and co-operating with the government to fish out the bad lots among them.
He also appealed to Ghanaians to stop generalizing issues of criminality involving Nigerians living in the country.
He conceded that there might be some bad ones among Nigerians living in Ghana but that should not warrant people, especially the media, to generalise the issue by saying that all Nigerians were bad.
The high commissioner made these statements when he addressed the press in Accra on Monday.
He said relations between Ghana and Nigeria were very strong and therefore the media should not insinuate that Nigerians were bad whenever there was an issue involving a Nigerian to damage the goodwill enjoyed by both countries.
Senator Obanikoro said Nigeria was the number six foreign investor in Ghana and, according to him, official investments in Ghana by Nigerians amounted to $1 billion last year, stating further that other benefits Ghana had enjoyed from Nigeria included the West African Gas Pipeline project, a 90-day oil credit for Ghana last year and the expansion of banking activities in the country.
"We are working closely with Ghana to create a better Ghana and vice versa and the media must not put this in jeopardy," he added.
He said passing derogatory remarks about Nigerians on the airwaves was unhealthy for both countries, explaining that generalising every bad thing that a Nigerian did to affect all Nigerians could trigger enmity which, when not checked, could degenerate into something else.
Referring to current media publications on the activities of some Nigerians resident at Christian Village and a report by the Bank of Ghana concerning the Managing Director of Amalbank, a Nigerian, who is alleged to be involved in money laundering and other fraudulent deals within the bank, the High Commissioner said the media should not dwell on one sided reports but rather ensure that they stated, both side's of the story.
He said it was pathetic that although Africans wanted to make the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) work, it was difficult for fellow Africans to do businesses among themselves due to a few bad experiences which had all been generalised.
The High Commissioner gave the assurance that he was ready to co-operate with any institution that needed information on Nigerian residents in Ghana saying, "I will never condone the irregularities of anyone and any perpetrator of any crime should be made to face the full rigours of the law when found guilty."
He said the government of Ghana was doing enough to smoothen relations between the two countries and called on the media to join the platform that could bring prosperity and lasting peace between the two countries and the sub-region as a whole.