Nigerian traders in Ghana on Wednesday called on the Nigerian government to evacuate them from Ghana.
The traders, in a Save-Our-Soul letter delivered to the Chairman of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said they were seeking a secure and peaceful return to Nigeria.
In a statement signed by Gabriel Odu, NiDCOM’s Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit, said the traders belonged to two associations in Ghana, the Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG) and the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS).
According to Odu, the evacuation letter, endorsed by 753 traders in the two associations, was delivered by a delegation led by the President of NANTS, Dr Ken Ukoaha.
In the letter, the traders explained that their evacuation had become necessary because of the constant and consistent harassments, intimidation, torture, threat to their lives and the total lockdown of their means of livelihood in Ghana.
They said that their shops had been locked up for almost one year by Ghanaian authorities.
“Diplomatic niceties at the highest level between Nigeria and Ghana have not yielded positive results.”
Landlords are coming to ask us for rent. How do we pay with our shops locked up for so long? We are dying here”, the traders lamented in the letter.
Receiving the delegation, Dabiri-Erewa called for peace, stressing the need for all relevant stakeholders to continually engage in peace talks.
She said it was indeed sad that the traders` shops have not been reopened for almost a year, citing Ghana’s draconian regulations which breached ECOWAS Protocols on Free Trade and the Movement of Goods and Services.
The NiDCOM boss pleaded with the traders not to allow tempers to rise as she would convey their message to the appropriate Nigerian authorities. She said that the Nigerian government would gladly welcome the traders back home.