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Opinions of Friday, 1 September 2017

Columnist: Abdul Hanan Mohammed EL-Saeed

Nigerians making life difficult for Ghanaians - Time to take difficult decisions against them

The vast majority of Nigerians are fantastically honorable, industrious, God fearing and fabulous workaholics who are making remarkable contributions in many ways to the economies of not only countries in the West African Subregion, the African continent, but also, the entire global economy.

A lot of Nigerians are engaged in clean, tidy and genuine businesses in Ghana and across the world and ready to do their best under the sun to bring honour, dignity and respect to themselves, and their country largely motivated by the many exemplary business moguls their Nation is blessed with.

The contributions of the Nigerian people over the years to the Ghanaian economy in particular cannot be underestimated.

Their contributions in areas such as trade, commerce, banking, oil and gas, telecommunications, entertainment, religion etcetera, can never be swept under the carpet any day. Not now, and definitely not in the future.

That said, it is also unequivocally true that there are equally a significant number bad Nigerians awash in the subregion, the continent and around the world doing really really bad things and presenting their country and its people in a very bad way in the eyes of their hosts.

In Ghana, these groups of criminally minded Nigerians are engaged in all manner of criminal activities that need to be checked immediately before they destroy this beautiful country of ours.

The actions of these few miscreants, if not accorded the immediate/swift/needed attention by leaders of both Ghana and Nigeria, has the propensity and capacity to erode the gains made over the years in terms of respect, trust and good relationship shared between the two countries.

Our leaders(both countries) must not sit down for the few who are criminals to break the beautiful bond of brotherliness, hospitality and good friendship that exist between us to be erased within a dim nick of time from the hearts and minds of the people of both countries especially Ghanaians who are increasingly getting worried and frustrated by the rampant criminal activities of some Nigerians.

These frustrations and genuine worry that some Ghanaians are expressing as a result of the actions of a few Nigerian criminals is reaching alarming proportions signalling that something aught to be done at the highest level diplomatically to calm down tempers before some people take the law into their hands.

In the Kasoa area for example recently, there was a reported clash between some Nigerian and Ghanaian youth over a purported attack on a Ghanaian youth by some Nigerians resulting in a reprisal/retaliatory attack.

The swift response of the Police saved what could have passed as an ugly situation. In fact, the story would have been a very bad one to narrate, maybe similar to the anger that the South Africans usually show against people of other countries and especially Nigerians anytime they "feel treated unfairly" or otherwise.

When I was growing up as a child in Tamale, most of the things that I see or hear Nigerians do in Ghana today, were things that were shown in Nigerian movies.

But unfortunately, it is now live and coloured in our country and hardly a day passes that you will not wake up to one story or the other about fraud, robbery, drugs, prostitution cum human trafficking, murder, occultism and so on without the name or names of Nigerians connected with those stories.

These criminal activities perpetrated by our fellow ecowas citizens -the Nigerians- poses a great threat to the peace and security of this remarkably undisputed tranquil oasis called Ghana.

It is a matter of public record that the vast majority of the prisoners in our prisons across the country, are Nigerian Nationals serving various prison terms, overstretching the prison facilities and of course the taxe payers kitty through which they are fed.

Our future as a secured and preferred destination for business and tourism is under serious threat if we don't tackle head on the criminal nuisance that is unleashed on innocent citizens in this country.

Tourists and investors consider very much crime situation of the destinations they visit or choose to invest in.

Sometimes, I wonder whether Ghanaians can dare behave or act in Nigeria the same way Nigerians are behaving in Ghana.

Abdul Hanan Mohammed EL-Saeed