Over 600 shops belonging to foreign traders particularly Nigerians at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle have been locked up by members of the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA).
This is not the first time GUTA members had embarked on such an exercise in their quest to rid the Ghanaian market of foreign traders who are engaging in retail.
According to GUTA, the government has failed to enforce Section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act, which bars foreigners from doing retail business.
Some of the local traders tell Citi News they will enforce the law if the government is not willing to adhere to their request.
“We are trying to enforce the GIPC law because we have seen that, the leaders of the country will not enforce it. So we have to enforce it ourselves. We have been in this thing for twenty years and they are killing our market.
Government upon government have failed to enforce the law, that is why we are where we are today. The only thing that can be done is to ensure that the foreigners do not enter into the retail business. If they don’t come, the case has ended. “
Another peeved Ghanaian trader noted:
“Nigeria has closed their border when we are all members of ECOWAS. It’s because they have their domestic laws. And their local laws come before the ECOWAS law. They don’t have a case there because you can never ascend to an international which goes against your local law.”
Mass closure regrettable- Nigerian traders
Some of the Nigerian traders mostly affected in the operation in their interaction with Citi News reiterated calls for the Ghana government to intervene to resolve the impasse between Ghanaian and Nigerian traders.
“Unfortunately, we came this morning and realized that all the Nigerian shops have been locked by unknown persons. So some of our men who got there were so angry and broke the padlocks because we didn’t know the hoodlums who did that. This is a diplomatic issue and they worse part is that the people who are agitated and want us to leave are using a bad approach and are taking the law into their hands. The only solution is that, the government of Ghana must intervene on the matter. Government must look at this because it can be replicated in Nigeria. It’s not good for the nation.”
Police arrest some traders
Meanwhile, the Nima Divisional Police Commander, ACP Abraham Acquaye who was at the scene with his men to maintain order noted that some of the traders who pelted the police have been arrested.
“We went round to inspect the security threat and realized that, the Nigerians had also massed up to face their Ghanaian counterpart with the view to get their locked shops opened. We had even wanted to address the Nigeria Community over there, but before we could do that, people started pelting stones. So, we had to repel the attack by firing shots to control the crowd. We have been able to make a few arrest and they have been sent to the police headquarters for further investigations.”