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General News of Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Ghana’s swift response to demolition of Nigeria High Commission building excellent – Int Relations expert


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An International Relations expert has commended Ghana’s Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration for promptly condemning the demolition of a building in Accra that Nigeria claims belongs to its mission in Ghana.

Dr Philip Attuquayefio, who is a Senior Research Fellow at the Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD), said an apology contained in a release issued by Ghana’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, should prevent any possible diplomatic row over the matter.

Armed men last Friday stormed a parcel of land in Accra, with bulldozers demolishing uncompleted structures on the property.

Paramount Chief and elders of the Osu Traditional Area, custodians of the parcel of land where the building was demolished, have said the Nigerian High Commission has trespassed on a plot of land belonging to the Osu Stool.

According to the Osu traditional leaders, the said parcel of land where the incident occurred is separate from that which is currently being occupied by the Nigerian High Commission.

This reaction by the Osu Traditional Area has prompted suspicion that the traditional leaders may have sent the armed men to demolish the uncompleted structures.

The Nigeria government on Monday revealed that it has summoned the second in command of the High Commission of Ghana to Nigeria, Ms Iva Denoo, over the matter, fueling suspicion that the incident may stir a row between the Ghana and Nigeria.

However, Dr Attuquayefio believes the diplomatic channels existing between the two countries should work to resolve any misunderstanding.

“The apology issued by Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the fact that the Minister visited the site of the demolition with the Inspector General of Police shows how serious the government regards the incident,” Dr Attuquayefio stated.

He added that the promise by the Ghana government that the matter will be investigated should quash allegations that the National Security was behind the demolition.

“It is important that we separate the work of the state apparatus from the group of people who demolished the building,” Dr Attuquayefio stated, adding that the investigation should unravel the real faces behind the action.

The LECIAD Senior Research Fellow also advised Nigerian citizens in Ghana who went on a demonstration on Monday, June 22, 2020, over the incident and other events in the past to avoid lumping issues together.

The demonstrators cited the locking up of shops owned by Nigerians in Ghana’s markets by members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) last year of evidence of state-sponsored discrimination against Nigerians.

But Dr Attuquayefio said to the best of his knowledge, the issues are different and advised the aggrieved Nigerians in Ghana to avoid bringing up all their bad experiences anytime there is an issue since it works against conflict resolution.

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