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23.06.2019 Article

Can Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo Help Reassure The Nigerian Community In Ghana?

By Kofi Thompson
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo
JUN 23, 2019 ARTICLE
Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo

There is a need to calm tensions between Ghanaian and Nigerian traders. Speaking generally, the truth of the matter is that the vast majority of Nigerian citizens living legally in Ghana, are serious, decent-minded and law-abiding individuals. They contribute positively, to the development of our homeland Ghana, through their involvement in various areas of our national life.

It is important that that is acknowledged by all fair-minded Ghanaians. Ghana's educational sector, for example, benefits from the enrollment of fee-paying Nigerians. And, from basic to tertiary level, our educational institutions employ hardworking teaching staff members, who hail from Nigeria.

Our relationship with Nigeria is a very important foreign policy objective. Nothing must be allowed to ruin it. Clearly, over the decades, Nigerians have contributed significantly to Ghana's GDP, through their involvement in our national economy's private-sector. Subsidiaries of Nigerian-owned banks, for example, have been very innovative players in our banking sector.

They have helped many Ghanaian-owned SMEs to survive and grow - enabling them create jobs in the process. And Nigerian entrepreneurs also create jobs doing business in Ghana. An iconic Nigerian-owned business that is decades old, is the Ola Balm factory, which began business in the Bubuashie area of Accra.

It is precisely because of the significant contributions made to Ghana's development - by law-abiding Nigerians - that the relatively few criminals amongst the two million Nigerians said to be currently living in Ghana, must be rooted out and dealt with ruthlessly, by the law enforcement agencies of the Ghanaian nation-state.

In an era of terrorism, apprehending criminals (be they Ghanaians or foreigners) in Ghana is a non-negotiable policy. It is a very sensible policy that ought to be supported by all law-abiding individuals in Ghana. The question is: To calm tensions, should our leaders invite Nigeria's plain-speaking former president, General Olusegun Obasanjo, to hammer that point home to Nigerians in Ghana?

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