GHANA/NIGERIA IMPASSE; DILEMMATIC BUT SOLVABLE!

GHANA/NIGERIA IMPASSE; DILEMMATIC BUT SOLVABLE!

Ghana’s fate, for many reasons, is intertwined with that of Nigeria, its big brother. So much of what transpire in one country may affect the other in a lot of ways.

It is against this background that issues relating to the two countries cannot be whittled down and dismissed as unimportant.

A lot has happened in the course of the week which, on the surface, would give many reasons to believe that the seemingly friendly or brotherly dalliance between Ghana and Nigeria has become frosty.

The rescue operations involving two Canadian ladies had some three Nigerians featuring prominently, raising eyebrows about the continuous roles Nigerians in Ghana play in criminal matters.

It would be recalled that there have been several instances of reported criminal acts involving Ghanaians and their Nigerian counterparts.

The culmination of these events was the Nigerian professor of English who was caught on video urging his countrymen to adopt unorthodox means to redeem the image of their country to the detriment of Ghana.

These images, it is incontestable, do not paint a very good picture of big brother Nigeria. As these matters are being mulled over, a foreigner in the name of trade has forcefully entered into the brouhaha.

Kumasi, Suame, to be precise, was home to an otherwise unwholesome scene involving some indigenes of Suame Magazine closing down some business outlets of people of Nigerian origin believed to be in retail trade.

Something like a trade war has arisen out of this impasse. There are calls by some trade unions on the present government to implement all the laws captured in the GIPC Act(2013).

The implementation of these laws would have adverse impacts on the protocols of ECOWAS and other African Trade agreements.

Sticking to either of them has its own consequences. However one looks at it, implementing the two are impossible. Regimes after regimes have had issues with these matters. A roundtable discussion involving all players in the industry could help bring a finality to the impasse.

The last but not the least observation is the penchant to label Nigerians as criminals. This type of stereotyping is way off line as there are more Nigerians in the country who are good people and are doing legitimate businesses.

While this piece of advice is being put out there, it is incumbent on the Nigerian authorities to also engage and advise their citizens to stay out of trouble so that such unfortunate tags would not be yoked around their necks.

Diplomacy is the way to go. Ghana needs Nigeria, Nigeria needs Ghana, we just need to sit down and iron out all these sticky issues.

It may sound knotty but it can be done. These matters may appear dilemmatic but they are surmountable.

P.K. Sarpong, Whispers from the Corridors of the Thinking Place.