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Rift Between Nigerians And Ghanaians; How It Started

Worldpe 06/24/2020

The Genesis of Nigeria and Ghana crisis

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It all began when Ghana gained her independence in 1957, and they emerged as the largest cocoa and gold producer in the 1960s. Their population was roughly 7-million, and their rich economy brought influx of migrants into Ghana. with Nigerian amounting more than half percent of the migrants.

In 1966, Ghana independence leader Kwame Nkrumah was overthrown by Major General Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka in a military coup and that brought the beginning of a falling economy in Ghana. Ghana became almost a failed state, a banana republic, nothing was working, money was hard to come by, and food was scarce. Despite the economy meltdown, Nigerian businesses in Ghana were still striving to the detriment of Ghanian businesses. Jealousy overshadowed the Ghanaians and that brought the first rift between Nigeria and Ghana.

In 1969, Ghana prime minister, Kofi Brusia invoked the Alien Compliance Order and deport an estimated 2.5 million undocumented African migrants, majority of whom were Nigerians. It came as a shocked to the Nigerians living in Ghana and after the announcement was made, before the deadline, ordinary Ghanaians started taunting the foreigners - "Go home go home! What are you still doing in our country".

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That brought fear to Nigerians and they started selling their properties and embarked on a journey to their motherland. They were stranded at the Aflao (Togo) border, some died from the stress and hardship before finally making it to Nigeria.

Similarly, in 1956 Nigeria discovered oil and four years later it gained an independence in 1960 with about 100-million population. The oil money was steady and hopes were high that Nigeria could prosper, despite the brutal military regimes that marred that period. In 1970s the economy exploded when oil price soared worldwide. The golden decade has arrived and the country became Africa's wealthiest, securing its title as Giant Of Africa. The standard of living improved, there was an influx of migrants all over Nigeria with more than half the migrants were Ghanaians.

Life was good until oil crashed, global oil prices start to dip in 1982, when large consumer markets such as United State and Canada slipped into recession and demand was low. The US began producing its own oil, further cutting demand and causing excess supply. Nigerian economy almost exclusively reliant on oil, was hard hit. By 1982, 90 percent of the country foreign reserve had been wiped out, food prices skyrocketed and crime was increasing.

The Nigerian government blamed African migrants, especially Ghanaians, for the flailing economy. In 1983 Nigerian head of state Shehu Shagari announced the deportation of illegal immigrants and Ghanaians were mostly affected and during that time Ghana was still facing severe drought and economy problems. After the expulsion of the first batch of immigrants, in 1985 a new military government took over, General Muhammadu Buhari became the head of state and he announced another expulsion and even threatened to arrest any Ghanaian that refused to go, and some Nigerians started taunting the Ghanaians by saying "Ghana must go, Ghana must go"

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This time, all foreigners, including those who had residence permits. About 700,000 Ghanaians were again forced out in a stressful way. This further strained relations between the two countries and a Joint Commission For Cooperation was established between Nigeria and Ghana.

Since the rift started about 50 years ago, Ghanaian government has never officially apologized to Nigerians for 1960 expulsion and Nigerian government on the other hand has never officially apologized to Ghanaian government for 1983 and 1985 expulsion. Despite all these differences, they still live as brothers and sisters. On almost every street is a store displaying Nigeria's green and white flag, while markets in Makola and Kumasi vibrate with Yoruba and Igbo languages. But of recent, an anti-Nigerians sentiments are building up a second time.

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Between 2018 to 2020, over 1000 Nigerians have been deported from Ghana for prostitution and cyber crime (yahoo yahoo boys). In 2019, stores in Kumasi own by Nigerians are forcefully shut down for not complying with harsh national laws. Just recently, in this month of June 2020, armed men raided the building in the Ghanaian capital on Friday night, demolishing some under construction apartments recently acquired by Nigerian High Commission.

A Ghanaian businessman is said to have accused the High commission of encroaching on his land. But the Ghanaian government has assured Nigerians that investigation are ongoing to unravel the facts and that security has been beefed up at the said facility.

In my opinion, I think this is a cold war perpetrated by the Ghanaians government and Nigerians are ignorant about it.

Source: opera.com
The views expressed in this article are the writer's, they do not reflect the views of Opera News. Read more>>
Top Comments
IssahakMohammed · 06/25/2020
You started your write up well, unfortunately your conclusion that the Ghana government started a cold war is without logic, to say the least
ESBEE-ESTEEM · 06/25/2020
na true you talk
GUEST_keGq5JObJ · 06/25/2020
Ghana has no hidden agenda against Nigeria and vice versa but if care is not taken the enviable collaborations of these two states would be destroyed out of suspicion.
RichmondAsare_03 · 06/25/2020
Stupid Nigerian

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