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Monday, March 19, 2018

Nigerians in Ghana reject armed-robbery tag, say they are law abiding


A Nigerian government-backed association in Ghana is rejecting public speculations that many Nigerians in the country are engaged illegal activities like armed robbery.

According to Nigerians in the Diaspora Association (NIDO), the overwhelming majority of Nigerians resident in Ghana are completely law abiding and maintain socially acceptable standards of morality and ethical behavior in their personal conduct.

NIDO added that the influx of Nigerians into Ghana is in accordance with the ECOWAS protocol of free movement of people.

A statement by the group said: “To the best of our knowledge, most Nigerians resident in Ghana are either entrepreneurs and business people or professionals, whether self-employed or in the employ of private sector enterprises, nongovernmental organizations or bilateral/multilateral institutions. While we are also aware that some Nigerians are engaged in activities that fall foul of the laws of Ghana and others are engaged in legal, but unethical and immoral behaviour, we wish to point out that these comprise a minute minority of the population of Nigerians resident in Ghana. 

Find below the full statement from NIDO:

Most Nigerians resident in Ghana are law abiding

The Ghana chapter of the Nigerians In the Diaspora Association, NIDO, a Federal Government of Nigeria backed grouping of Nigerians resident abroad, has noted with deep concern the recent spate of violent armed robbery in Ghana.

In particular, NIDO has taken note of widespread observations from among social commentators, that Nigerians have been deeply involved in these acts of violence, some involving both theft and murder. Indeed, some commentators have clearly sought to draw a direct correlation between the influx of Nigerians into Ghana in recent years, in line with their rights to freedom of movement of people and property under long-standing ECOWAS protocols, and the current sharp increase in reported armed robberies.

While NIDO deeply regrets and condemns the actions of any Nigerian’s identified to have been involved in the recent nefarious acts, we also wish to point out that those actions do not change the fact that the overwhelming majority of Nigerians resident in Ghana are completely law abiding and maintain socially acceptable standards of morality and ethical behavior in their personal conduct. This precludes even the possibility of their being involved in armed robbery or similar violent, illegal activity.

To the best of our knowledge, most Nigerians resident in Ghana are either entrepreneurs and business people, or professionals, whether self-employed or in the employ of private sector enterprises, nongovernmental organizations or bilateral/multilateral institutions. While we are also aware that some Nigerians are engaged in activities that fall foul of the laws of Ghana and others are engaged in legal, but unethical and immoral behaviour, we wish to point out that these comprise a minute minority of the population of Nigerians resident in Ghana. 

Indeed, the majority of Nigerians resident in Ghana are making significant contributions to the growth and development of this country, as reflected in both the huge quantum of Nigerian private direct investment in the Ghanaian economy and in the international trade volumes between the two countries which have made each a major trade partner of the other.

Without being deliberately cynical, we also wish to point out that it is inevitable that a neighbouring country with a population estimated currently at about 17O million, will have some bad eggs who have chosen to take advantage of the ECOWAS protocols to take up residence in Ghana. Indeed this is similarly true of every country around the world, including those geographically distant from Ghana, who do not have multilateral, subregional protocols with this country, and who therefore have much smaller resident populations of their citizens in Ghana.

However, we wish to use this opportunity to appeal to all Nigerians resident in Ghana to fully abide by the laws of their host country at all times and maintain moral and ethical personal, professional and business conduct of the highest standards at all times.

At the same time, we warn all Nigerians who flout the laws of Ghana that they are exposing themselves to legal sanction when they are inevitably caught, at which time they should not expect support or assistance in any form from the Federal Government of Nigeria or any formal association or grouping of Nigerians in Ghana.

Finally, we state our appreciation for the legal, ethical and moral conduct of the overwhelming majority of Nigerians resident in Ghana and for the friendliness and accommodating stance of both the Ghanaian State and its people.

Indeed, these are what have made the special relationship between the two countries possible and we pray that the activities of a few bad eggs will not adversely affect that relationship.

God bless Nigeria. God bless Ghana. God bless the close relationship between the two countries.

Oscar Ugoh

Head, Corporate Affairs

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