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Editorial News of Friday, 26 June 2020

Source: Ghanaian Times

Ghanaian Times: Ghana, Nigeria should avoid diplomatic row over demolishing exercise

No matter the annoyance on any matter, relations between Ghana and Nigeria have remained very strong. The two countries in many ways remain dependable allies regardless of the provocation, either state-sponsored, by a group or individuals in both countries.

In fact, the bond between the two countries transcends the state-to-state relationship. The people of the two countries have inter-married and have family ties in both countries. The citizens of the two countries have engaged in trading and business activities in each other’s country for decades.

In the past, both countries have endured some provocative actions taken by either country. We can cite some of the actions that were taken in the past that did not go down well with either of the two countries. But we would not do that because they are too numerous to recount here. And in order not to rake old wounds, we would rather not dwell on the past.

Instead, we want to focus on the provocative demolishing of a building situated in the Nigerian High Commission at West Ridge in Accra, over the weekend

Armed men with bulldozers were said to have demolished the uncompleted apartments which were being constructed to house staff and visiting diplomats to the High Commission.

In the aftermath of the demolishing, the Nigerian High Commission and the Osu Traditional Council have engaged in a war of words with claims and counter-claims. While the High Commission accused those who undertook the exercise of invading a diplomatic mission, the Osu stool is claiming ownership of the land and accusing the Commission of trespassing.

“That parcel of land belongs to the Osu stool and is to be used for purposes only agreed upon by the stool and its council of elders”, a statement issued by the traditional council in Accra on Sunday, said.

“The Osu Stool remains the owner of the said parcel of land and wishes to notify the general public that all other intended users of the property must first seek the permission of the stool”, it maintained.

However, the action has been roundly condemned by many who described it as provocative and unwarranted.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, in a statement, issued on Sunday, condemned the incident, citing breach of diplomatic relations and said it would investigate.

The Ghanaian Times is in agreement with those who are condemning the action and we add our voice to those who are calling for a swift investigation into the matter.

We are concerned about the flagrant disregard for law and order by those who took the decision to demolish a property of a diplomatic mission in Ghana.

We sympathise with the Nigerian High Commission and join the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to condemn the action.

We hope that having rendered an apology and the assurance of a swift investigation, our Nigerian brothers would remain calm and not allow the situation to escalate beyond this point.

In fact, it would not be in the interest of either of the two countries if we engage ourselves in a needless fight over a piece of land.

What binds the two countries together is certainly stronger and greater than the piece of land and the demolishing of the flats should not put a wedge between Ghana and Nigeria.

Not at all!