Reports emerging this week indicate that Nigeria has again deported about 45 Ghanaians from that country with no reasons assigned to this.
There are many unreported deportations that have been carried out by some states in Nigeria: In April 2010, there was also the chilling story of a Ghanaian scholar in Nigeria, Malam Issah Hassan Tikumah, a former Social Studies lecturer at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria who alleged that he was being hounded by security men and some “reactionary forces” in that country because of a book he wrote on the niqab (face veil worn by Muslim women) and said he was living in fear.
I am more concerned because more and more Nigerians, most of them without valid travel documents, continue to troop to Ghana for the purpose of mostly sojourning but ends up becoming engulfed in the daily activities of the West African country.
More Nigerians are also involved in petty trading in Ghana and vice versa. So it would very suicidal for the two countries in the West African sub region to engage in this kind of deportations which contravene the ECOWAS protocol.
In the 80s, Ghana and Nigeria were engaged in a reprisal action which saw each of them deporting aliens to their countries of origin.
Nigeria had also undertaken a mass deportation of Ghanaians from that country in a spree which earned the notorious mantra of ‘Ghana Must Go’. So many years after the unfortunate diplomatic incident, the mantra has refused to go because a bag has been named after it. The bag was the most preferred by Ghanaians returning home from Nigeria at the time.
It was Nigeria which started the deportation after demanding that every Ghanaian entering Nigeria should provide proof of possessing an amount of $50. Failure to provide led to outright deportation.
Ghana retaliated by also making similar demands, leading to the two countries engaging in a messy diplomatic row.
The authorities of the two countries sought an amicable solution to the diplomatic row which saw the withdrawal of the worrying trend eventually.
It is time for some of these unreasonable deportations to stop to avoid retaliation from the other side. We are brothers and sisters hence the need to co-operate in all front and to establish ourselves as true Africans fighting for one destiny-free society of peace and prosperity of our citizenry.
Let’s check this!!