About 50 shops belonging to Nigerian spare parts dealers were locked up by agitated Ghanaians who said they would not sit down for foreigners to flout the laws governing retail marketing in Ghana.
Shops operated and owned by Nigerians were closed down after indigenous Ghanaian spare parts dealers in the enclave protested against the continuous operation of foreigners in the retail trade.
Following this, Ogbonna Kaycey, spokesperson for Nigerians Diaspora Organization, Ghana chapter in an interview on Joy FM monotoried by Happyghana.com predicted that what happaned in South Africa In 2015, where there were outbreaks of violence against non-South Africans, mostly in the cities of Durban and Johannesburg, which led to the deployment of the army to deter further unrest, “Xenophobic attacks” is likely to happen in Ghana.
“Tension is very high Nigerians back home are calling to check on us if we living in Ghana are safe. Of course they have to be concern because if you go on social media and the kind of utterances that we see on our various social media by our Ghanaian brothers and sisters it looks like what probably happened in South Africa is about to happen to Nigerians in Ghana. What happened in South Africa was a public attack and it is the same thing happening here, it is worrisome.”
The indigenous spare parts dealers last Monday protested against the operations of the foreigners and mounted a surveillance team to monitor and deal with Nigerians who tried to reopen their shops.
The Ashanti Regional Financial Secretary of GUTA, Mr Maxwell Bamfo, told the Daily Graphic that much as the association did not sanction the action, it was good enough to send signals to the appropriate authorities to implement the laws governing retail trade in the country.
Per the law, retail trade is reserved for Ghanaians, but, over the years, the law has been flouted with impunity, with GUTA fighting hard to protect Ghanaian interests.
Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa
Prior to 1994, immigrants from elsewhere faced discrimination and even violence in South Africa. After majority rule in 1994, contrary to expectations, the incidence of xenophobia increased.
Between 2000 and March 2008, at least 67 people died in what were identified as xenophobic attacks. In May 2008, a series of attacks left 62 people dead; although 21 of those killed were South African citizens. The attacks were apparently motivated by xenophobia.
In 2015, another nationwide spike in xenophobic attacks against immigrants in general prompted a number of foreign governments to begin repatriating their citizens.
By: Joseph Nii Ankrah
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