Bolgatanga, May, 1, GNA - Mr. Mahami Salifu, Upper East Regional Minister, has said that government would continue to treat foreign nationals in Ghana with dignity and accord them the utmost hospitality. "The NPP government has great respect for the rule of law and the principles set by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which is currently chaired by President J.A.Kufuor," he stated. Mr Salifu made the statement when the Niger Ambassador to Ghana, Alhaji Hassane Ali Toure, paid a courtesy call on him in Bolgatanga during a familiarisation visit to the Upper East Region. The Regional Minister noted that apart from being members of ECOWAS, Ghana and Niger are sister counties whose people share common historical, political and trade links.
"It is therefore the wish of our governments to encourage the integration of countries in the sub-region to facilitate the free movement of people and goods across our common borders," he added.
Mr Salifu stressed the need for the Niger community to remain law-abiding, and to show respect for traditional rulers in the region as they go about their normal activities.
Alhaji Toure on his part, explained that the purpose of his visit was to enable him present himself to his countrymen resident in the Upper East, interact with them and to hear their concerns.
He expressed gratitude to the Ghana government for the hospitality extended to Niger nationals over the years. He urged the Niger community to get involved in social activities such as clean-up exercises and contribute their quota to the development of their "second home".
The Ambassador informed the Regional Minister that his Embassy has appointed the chief of the Niger community in Bolgatanga, Alhaji Issah Yahaya Moshie, as its accredited representative in the Region, to cater for the interests of Niger Nationals in the Upper East since the Embassy could not discharge that responsibility from far away Accra.
On his part, Alhaji Moshie indicated that he had lived in Bolgatanga for more than 40 years but had never seen or heard about any harassment of Niger nationals resident there. He pledged the determination of members of the community to abide by the laws of Ghana and to co-exist peacefully with their hosts.