The Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, has condemned the attacks on some Nigerian-owned shops in Suame in the Ashanti Region.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah told Accra FM Wednesday, 19 June 2019 that if the Nigerians have violated the trade laws of Ghana, the appropriate authorities are the ones to deal with them instead of their Ghanaian counterparts taking the law into their own hands.
The power to deal with the situation, he said, does not lie in the hands of the citizens, hence the action was wrong, Mr Oppong Nkrumah said. Two Nigerian-owned shops were ransacked by raucous Ghanaian youths in the early hours of Wednesday.
The vandalisation of the shops was to register their displeasure against a decision by the Ghana Union Traders Association (GUTA) to reopen closed Nigerian retail shops.
This led to a near-clash between the Nigerians and the Ghanaians. The confusion transpired ahead of a meeting by GUTA and other stakeholders on Wednesday to deliberate on the fate of Nigerian retailers at Suame and Tafo.
The Nigerians closed their shops temporarily on Friday, 14 June 2019 over what they described as attacks from their Ghanaian counterparts. The Ghanaian traders argue that they are only enforcing the laws of Ghana which bar foreigners from engaging in the retail sub-sector, a preserve of Ghanaians.
The rampaging youth, who wore red bands and attires, also lit car tyres as part of their protest. Mr Oppong Nkrumah condemned the vandalism, saying: “If someone has violated the law, for instance, you work without a fire licence or permit, then the law will deal with you”.
“Let me stress that the Ministry of Trade and the Ghana Immigration Service are dealing with the situation”, he announced.