“Many Nigerians Have Married From Ghana, Stop Harassing Us” – NIS Under Fire
December 23, 2013 – “Many Nigerians Have Married From Ghana, Stop Harassing Us” – Nigeria Immigration Service Under Fire
The harassment of Ghanaians by officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service at the country’s border posts has become a major concern to the Ghanaian community in Nigeria.
In a chat with Daily Sun on the sideline of the 2013 celebration of the National Association of Ghanaian Communities in Nigeria (NAGHACON) held in Lagos, the association’s president, Mr Frank Ekow Quaye expressed worry over the poor treatment innocent Ghanaians receive from junior officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service even as they possess genuine travel documents.
Quaye alleged cases of extortion and harassment of his kinsmen. He was particular about junior officers. “Generally, the Nigeria Immigration Service has been very friendly with the Ghanaians. The relationship has remained cordial.
“But we are worried that some junior officers posted to the border have adopted various tactics to extort and harass Ghanaians. Those involved in this act have just refused to emulate their senior officers who have always demonstrated maturity and professionalism.”
He appealed to all cadres of officers of the Nigeria Immigration Service to treat Ghanaians as their brothers, stressing that the Ghanaian communities in Nigeria remain a major stakeholder in the Nigerian project.
“ Nigeria has become our second home and we are ever willing to contribute our quota to the building of a progressive Nigeria and therefore we deserve to be accorded good treatment be it at the border or any part of Nigeria,” he said.
Quaye told Daily Sun that at no time will his organization condone acts of criminality by Ghanaians resident in the country and would always cooperate with relevant authorities.
The highlight of the event was the launching of the association’s 2014 Calendar by the Chairman of the occasion and President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce, Mr Goodie Ibru, represented by his Public Affairs Adviser, Mr Charles C. Inomah.
Earlier, Quaye had, in his address, called for unity and peace among his kinsmen.
“We are perceived by our governments and people as one indivisible nation without any colouration,” he told them.
He noted that in spite of the challenges facing Ghanaians resident in Nigeria, they have continued to forge ahead.
“In spite of the challenges which confront us, it is still in order to pat our backs and say ‘Yes’ Ghanaians in Nigeria have been largely law abiding and have been able to integrate themselves into the socio-cultural milieu of our host nation.”
Paying tributes to the government and people of Nigeria, Quaye said, “Today, many of us are married to Nigerians, speak like Nigerians and dress like Nigerians, because of the excellent rapport and love our very hospitable Nigerian brothers and sisters have bestowed on us.”
The president used the occasion to correct what he described as wrong impression about the association. “…NAGHACON was created as a free born for all Ghanaians irrespective of social standing or status.
Therefore, the conception in some quarters among Ghanaians that the association is for downtrodden Ghanaians is gross fallacy.”
In his comment, the Consul-General of Ghana in Lagos, Alhaji Amadu Abukari told members of the association that the ability of the Consulate to cater for their interest depend to a large extent on the “cooperation each and every one us here gathered.”
He appealed to them to be law-abiding, noting that in recent times, there have been increasing incidences of human trafficking of young Ghanaians into Nigeria.
[By Emma Emeozor, Daily Sun]