Nigerian traders in Ghana have likened the actions of some members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) to the activities of terrorist organisations in their infancy, ABC News can report.
Some angry members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) on Monday, November 4, forcefully locked shops belonging to Nigerians and Chinese nationals at the Opera Square in Accra, to drive home their demand for government to enforce laws barring foreigners from engaging in retail business in the country.
Similar incidents have also been recorded in Kumasi, Ashanti Region.
GUTA has accused the government of looking on as foreigners violate section 27 of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865, which bars foreigners from engaging in the retail business, leaving them with no option than to lock these shops as their appeals to the government have yielded little results.
But the National Secretary of the Nigerian Traders in Ghana, Everest Nwakoh, finds the reaction of GUTA worrying and tasked the government and security agencies to take charge of the situation before it escalates.
According to Mr. Nwakoh, the actions by their Ghanaian counterparts constitute impunity and a potential national security threat if it is not nipped in the bud.
“We are hoping that the government of Ghana will find it very convenient and expedient enough to talk to these traders because what is happening is impunity. I can assure you this is how terrorist organizations all over the world started, it’s been giving all of us sleepless nights” he noted.
He added that “Every action in this life has a consequence and if a Nigerian life is lost in Ghana here it will have a very great consequence. What the GUTA are saying in their local dialect, they have said so many things like they will advise themselves and they will destroy us. For me, some of the statements, by now they should have been arrested because these are hate speech”
Everest Nwakoh insists the actions of GUTA have compounded their woes as their businesses have been dealt a heavy blow following the closure of the Nigerian borders.
He indicated that the Police, after the GUTA traders forcefully locked their shops yesterday, assured them they were engaging with the Ghanaian traders to resolve the impasse and restore calm to the area by the next day.
This promise was, however, not fulfilled as the shops remained closed after 24 hours.
“For now the stores still locked, we’re waiting for the police. They visited yesterday and invited the GUTA executives from Opera Square but we have not gotten any feedback so we’re hoping to get good news”
“[The closure is affecting us] Very adversely. We’re talking about the closed border, there are some of the people who cannot retrieve their goods, they cannot restock because of the Nigerian border with Benin that was closed. This one now is happening so it is a double tragedy for us” he said.