Ghanaian MPs join Nigerian Ambassador in ‘crocodile tears’

Ghanaian MPs join Nigerian: Ghana’s Parliament and the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana, are not enthused by media reportage that has to do with crimes committed by Nigerians living and working in Ghana, and are publicly cautioning the inky fraternity to be circumspect.

While the Nigerian High Commission, is clearly upset with the nature of reportage of crimes involving Nigerians which it says, exhibits some form of xenophobia, Ghana’s Parliament, condemned media reports which singled out Nigerians as masterminds of Kidnappings and abductions in Ghana.

It is not clear, however, what the two institutions want to see in media reportage on crimes, especially those involving some unscrupulous Nigerians.

The High Commission in a statement said “xenophobic tendencies” had the potential to mar Ghana-Nigeria relations.

In the statement, Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Ambassador Michael Olufemi Abikoye, references reports involving Nigerians and criminal activity; including the recent kidnapping of two Canadians in Kumasi.

The involvement of Nigerians in high profile crimes in recent times, is viewed as causing some resentment for Nigerians in Ghana.

“The Ghanaian Press, both print and electronic as well as social media seems to have enjoyed a field day in demonising Nigeria which for all intent and purposes, is seen as a fraternal brother to Ghana,” the statement notes.

The High Commission, maintains that this line of reportage “has caused untold pains, agony as well as apprehension” to Nigerians in Ghana.

This has compelled it to “appeal to local traditional media and social media to be highly circumspect in such reportage.”

“The ongoing media trial of criminals which was now being turned into a media trial of Nigeria as a country, calls for moderation on the part of media practitioners in Ghana.”

An Association of Nigerians in Ghana also criticized the consistent singling out of Nigerians in criminal activities.

The association said the behaviour of the few Nigerians did not call for stereotyping of all Nigerian nationals.

Ogbonna Keyse, spokesperson for Nigerians in Diaspora had said “We are sad and worried because we know that the majority of us are not like that. Nigerians are not criminals. Nigerians are not kidnappers. Nigerians are not murderers. Nigerians are good people, hardworking people.”

In a Press Briefing yesterday, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, said the development is unfortunate as it has the potential to poison the coveted relationship that exists between Ghana and Nigeria.

“We want to appeal to the generality of this country, particularly the youth and the media, that we should all be measured in terms of our pronouncement,” chairman of the committee, Frank Annor Dompreh said.

He revealed that word has been “sent to the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana to meet me on the development.”

The invitation of the Nigeria High Commissioner, Olufemi Michael Abikoye, comes on the back of a recent public statement issued by his office, decrying media reports which describe “Nigerians as a bunch of criminals.”

According to the statement signed by the High Commissioner, the “reportage has caused untold pain, agony as well as apprehensions for Nigerians.”

He argued that, contrary to media reports, Nigerians in Ghana are “law-abiding” people who comprise “astute businessmen, bankers, insurance brokers, teaming students as well as investors.”

The statement, further warned of dire consequences, if the development is not halted.

“This has become highly imperative in view of its large implications on Nigerians Living in Ghana and Ghanaians living in Nigeria as well,” Abikoye wrote.

Speaking on the sidelines of Parliament’s press briefing, Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, called for calm.

“We are saying that these tensions are not necessary at this time. He should appear before us and let’s see how we can get to the bottom of matters to calm everybody down,” Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah said.

He revealed that, word has been “sent to the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana to meet me on the development.”

The invitation of the Nigeria High Commissioner, Olufemi Michael Abikoye, comes on the back of a recent public statement issued by his office, decrying media reports which describe “Nigerians as a bunch of criminals.”

Ghanaian MPs join Nigerian: According to the statement signed by the High Commissioner, the “reportage has caused untold pain, agony as well as apprehensions for Nigerians.”

He argued that contrary to media reports, Nigerians in Ghana are “law-abiding” people who comprise “astute businessmen, bankers, insurance brokers, teaming students as well as investors.”

The statement further warned of dire consequences if the development is not halted.

“This has become highly imperative in view of its large implications on Nigerians Living in Ghana and Ghanaians living in Nigeria as well,” Abikoye wrote.

Speaking on the sidelines of Parliament’s press briefing, Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, called for calm.

Ghanaian MPs join Nigerian: “We are saying that these tensions are not necessary at this time. He should appear before us and let’s see how we can get to the bottom of matters to calm everybody down,” Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwah said.

The relationship between Ghana and Nigeria has been cordial in recent years but allegations of kidnapping being leveled against Nigerians seek to reenact a history of repatriations which played out between the two nations in 1969 and 1973 respectively, following perceived maltreatment of citizens living in the other’s country.

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