Chief Nkem Tony Onyeagolu (former President for All Nigerians Community- Ashanti Region) has appealed to the President of Ghana to issue a directive for the re-opening of shops owned by Nigerian traders.
Since the closure of their retail shops i.e those owned by Igbos trading in Ghana by the local authorities, things according to him have gotten worse for them.
He explained that majority of Igbo traders victimized by the move are hard pressed financially, highly indebted and have not been able to pay off loans they took from financial institutions to run their business.
“Things are getting worse for us. Our goods, monies and documents have been locked up and until now, Ghana government has not opened our shops. How do you expect us to survive? Our people are dying.”,he lamented.
Chief Nkem Tony continued in his plea that the President of Ghana His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo should at least order a re-opening so that they can sell and pay their debts and make a living.
Addressing the media in Kumasi, he described the action of local authorities as one-sided, expressing worry over why the focus should only be on Nigerians specifically Igbos whereas there are other foreign investors doing retail business in Ghana.
“Nigeria has three major tribes and a number of members belonging to these three tribes do business in Ghana. Why only Igbos?”, he inquired.
He cited that, there are Indians, Lebanese, Ivorians etc who busily engage in retail business but their shops were not closed by local authorities.
“It shouldn’t go on like this. It is hurting our people too much. We Igbos are not here to take over business from our host country Ghana. We are here to learn from them and they too learn from us in turn. That’s what we have been doing.”
He gave reference that Nigeria traders have contributed in the reduction of unemployment rate in Ghana by employing a number of Ghanaian youth.
He suggested that, the government of Ghana, Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) and Nigerian Union Traders Association should hold a meeting and come out with a trade code that will peacefully regulate business activities between the duo in Ghana.
“It is you chop I chop principle”, he added.
“Nigeria has for many years been good towards Ghanaian citizens living in Nigeria.
We are pleading on Ghana President to treat as in the same way and consider us as his own.”he added.