By Adedayo Akinwale
Nigeria Traders in Ghana under the auspices of Nigerian Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG) yesterday presented a ‘Save-our-Soul (SoS)’ letter to the Federal Government of Nigeria, demanding immediate evacuation from Ghana.
The shops of Nigeria traders in Ghana had been shut for almost a year in a retaliatory move against the decision of the Nigerian Government to close its land boarders to curb smuggling.
The delegation led by the President, National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS), Dr. Ken Ukoaha, along with the president of NUTAG and other members of the association, presented the letter to the Chairman of Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, in Abuja yesterday.
Their request, among others, is to ensure a peaceful and secure evacuation of Nigerians in Ghana back to Nigeria.
In a statement issued yesterday by Mr. Gabriel Odu of the Media, Public Relations and Protocol Unit of NIDCOM, it was revealed that the letter contained a list of 753 members who signed it to be supported to return home.
According to the statement, “They explained that the evacuation has become necessary because of the constant and consistent harassment, intimidation, torture and threat to life, as well as a total lockdown of their means of livelihood, as their shops have been locked for almost one year by the Ghanaian Government.
“More so, since all diplomatic niceties at the highest level between Nigeria and Ghana have not yielded positive results, they need to be evacuated to Nigeria.
“Now, landlords are coming to ask us for rent. How do we pay with our shops locked up for so long? We are dying here.”
However, Dabiri-Erewa has called for peace, stressing that all relevant stakeholders would continually be engaged.
She said it was indeed sad that their shops have not been reopened for almost one year, citing draconian conditions against ECOWAS Protocols of free trade and movement of goods and services.
Dabiri-Erewa once again pleaded with the traders not to allow tempers rise, while assuring them that she would convey their message for support to relocate them back home to the appropriate authorities for further consideration and to speed up the process with strategic ministries and agencies to bring a lasting solution to the issues.