Olufemi Abikoye, Nigeria’s high commissioner to Ghana, has expressed concerns over the manner in which the Ghanaian press has been “priortising” negative reports about Nigerians.
In a statement he personally signed, Abikoye appealed to the Ghanaian media to stop referring to Nigerians based in Ghana as a bunch of criminals.
He described as terribly worrisome, the action of taking an “insignificant few elements” to criminalise a “brotherly country like Nigeria”.
Abikoye said it is unfair to give the impression that Nigerians based in Ghana are disturbing peace in Ghana, adding that there are Nigerians who are “astute businessmen, bankers, insurance brokers, teeming students as well as investors”.
“The Ghanaian Press, both print and electronic as well as social media seems to have enjoyed a field day in demonising Nigeria which for all intent and purpose, is seen as a fraternal brother to Ghana,” the statement read.
“Captions such as Kidnapping in Ghana: Data shows Nigerians are largely involved in the menace, Two Nigerians shot dead in Upper West, Five Nigerians nabbed for armed robbery, Nigerians attempting to kidnap 4-year old boy at Maimobi as well as the unresolved kidnapping of three Ghanaian girls in Takoradi, kidnapping of the Honorary Consul and Head of Mission of Estonia to Ghana, kidnapping of an Indian businessman and kidnapping of two Canadian girls in Kumasi recently rescued, have become worrisome daily reportage which has caused untold pains, agony as well as apprehension to the teeming law abiding Nigerians living in Ghana.
“Suffice to say that at times like this, a situation where five Ghanaians in company of three Nigerians allegedly kidnapped two Canadians but seems to enjoy wider press coverage as a crime committed by the Nigerians and considers Ghanaians only as accomplices leave much to be desired on the objectivity of such report. In the light of the above, the High Commission wishes to appeal to the local traditional media and social media to be highly circumspect in such reportage.”
He said he would not condone some “misguided youth” who have taken to criminality as a way of life regardless of nationality.
Abikoye said those found guilty of involvement in crime stand condemned and should be punished according to the laws of the land.
He said the commission would continue mobilising Nigerians living in Ghana to obey domestic laws.