Police in the Ashanti Region have assured Nigerian traders at Suame Magazine that it is safe for them to return to their shops after some of them were ransacked by irate locals on Wednesday.
The police in a statement said it had met with the leadership of the Ghana Union of Traders’ Association (GUTA) and the Nigerian Union of Traders Association Ghana (NUTAG) and agreed on a resolution.
It was agreed that “nobody should be prevented from doing his or her business as such, all shops will be opened for business today, Thursday 20th June 2019,” according to the police statement.
The police thus assured Nigerian traders that they could go back and open their shops “and continue to do their business without any fear of attack.”
The statement added that police and military personnel “will be within Suame Magazine and its surrounding areas to ensure that whoever does anything untoward is arrested and made to face the full rigours of the law without any fear and favour.”
The police in the statement said, they were on the hunt for two persons citing them as the brains behind the attacks on Nigerian-owned shops at Suame Magazine on Wednesday.
“So far two names have been mentioned to the police as the masterminds of the attacks and efforts are underway to get them arrested,” police said in the statement.
Their actions were caught on camera and Police said they were working to apprehend other persons engaged in the vandalism.
On Tuesday, June 18, 2019, a number of Nigerian traders left Suame Magazine after over 50 of their shops were closed down for engaging in retail trade contrary to Ghanaian laws.
According to Section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act, a person who is not a citizen or an enterprise which is not wholly owned by a citizen shall not invest or participate in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place.
The tensions also follow concerns over a growing anti-Nigeria sentiment in Ghana because of the involvement of some of its nationals in high profile crimes in Ghana.
The Nigerian High Commission in Ghana came out to criticise the reportage of
crimes involving Nigerians which it said exhibits some form of xenophobia.
Story: From James APPIAKORANG JNR., KUMASI, ASHANTI REGION