Shops owned by Nigerians were locked up by Ghanaian traders at the popular electronic market in the central business district of Accra yesterday.
The angry traders had on Monday attacked Nigerian traders and sealed up their shops. But some Nigerian traders resisted them, which resulted in a brawl, before the police took control of the situation.
Subsequently, the leadership of Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) and executives of Nigeria Union of Traders Association in Ghana (NUTAG) were invited by the Accra Regional Police Force in order to mediate in the matter. “Measures have been put in place to ensure sanity prevails. We have also invited both parties to work out the best ways to resolve the matter before it escalates,” the Accra Regional Operations Officer of the Ghana Police, Chief Superintendent Kwasi Ofori said.
This is the second time in recent weeks that Nigerian traders at Opera Square have been assaulted by members of the Ghana Electrical Dealers Association (GEDA). The last incident happened in June, when about 20 shops owned by Nigerians were locked up by GEDA members.
The dispute was swiftly resolved and the shops were opened about 48 hours later. The latest incident comes few days after the Ghanaian Parliament threw its weight around the traders, insisting that foreigners must be barred from retail business in the country.
The President of GUTA, Dr. Joseph Obeng, has reiterated that the ban on retail business by foreigners must be enforced. “These foreign retailers have found a loophole in our retail laws and are capitalising on that. We have failed as a country to preserve what to Ghanaians.
We will not sit down and watch them take over our market. We don’t hate Nigerians. We just want the laws to work,” he said.