Ghana Responds To Allegations Of Harassment Of Nigerians

Ghana’s Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has sent a six-page response to Nigeria over accusation of hostilities to Nigeria and harassment of Nigerians.

On Friday, Nigeria alleged a history of hostilities and harassments committed by Ghana against Nigerian interests and Nigerians and declared that it would no longer tolerate future unfriendly acts.

In a statement by Nigeria’s Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, the Nigerian government announced it was urgently considering “a number of options at ameliorating the situation.”

But in its response, yesterday, Ghana noted how the issue has the potential to sour relations between both countries.

Nkrumah denied most of the allegations, saying they did not reflect the true state of affairs.

And responding to Nigeria’s subtle threat to take counter-actions, Nkrumah said: “Any protest, decision, or action based on Lai’s statement will thus be unjustified.”

The Government of Ghana, in its statement, gave a reflective account of events, while indicating interest in pursuing substantive diplomatic engagements to resolve matters.

On the accusation against Ghana on the alleged seizure of the Nigerian mission’s property located at 10, Barnes Road, Accra, which was being used as diplomatic premises by the Nigerian government for almost 50 years, Ghana stated that while the accusation is inaccurate, the transaction was a commercial arrangement between Thomas D. Hardy, a private citizen and the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana on October 23, 1959.

The terms of the Commercial Lease, according to the statement, expired 46 years ago without any evidence of renewal by the High Commission of Nigeria in Ghana.

The Government of Ghana said it was not involved in the transaction and had not seized the property in question.

The Ghanaian minister said that the Government of Ghana does not, did not and never owned the land, and had not been involved in the seizure of any property of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana. The land in question, it said, is owned by the Osu Stool and managed by the Lands Commission.

In response to the claim that the lease on some of the property owned by the Ghana Mission in Nigeria has long expired, Ghana noted that it acquired a freehold land at Pope John Paul II Street in Abuja in 1989 through a commercial arrangement, and built the current structures on it, stating that members of staff of the Ghana High Commission in Abuja have been living there since the construction of the current structures.

Also, on the accusation of demolition of the Nigerian mission’s property located at 19/21, Julius Nyerere Street, East Ridge, Accra, which constitutes another serious breach of the Vienna Convention, the Ghanaian minister said the statement was not factual. He stated that search at the Lands Commission indicated that the Nigerian High Commission failed to complete the documentation process after paying for the land in the year 2000 A.D.