A diplomatic row has erupted between Nigeria and Ghana as unknown gunmen claiming to be operatives of National Security entered the Nigerian High Commission in Accra, Ghana on Friday and destroyed some apartments that were under construction.
Reports say the affected buildings were constructed to house staff and visitors of the High Commission, but a Ghanaian Traditional Ruler had complained that the commission trespassed as the building encroached his land.
The Nigerian Federal Government has condemned the attacks on its High Commission, describing them as criminal and outrageous.
It demanded “urgent action”
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, said via his verified Twitter handle @GeoffreyOnyeama on Sunday that the federal government was already engaging with the Ghanaian authorities to urgently bring the perpetrators to book and protect the lives of Nigerians in Ghana.
According to Onyeama, “we strongly condemn two outrageous criminal attacks in Accra, #Ghana, on a residential building in our diplomatic premises by unknown persons in which a bulldozer was used to demolish the building.
“We are engaging with the Ghanaian government and we demand urgent action to find the perpetrators and provide adequate protection for Nigerians and their properties in Ghana.”
This is the second time a row has erupted between the two countries. On January 03, 2020, Nigerians and their property were severely attacked by the Ghanaians.
Then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied reports of a diplomatic row between Nigeria and Ghana after reports emerged that the Nigeria High Commission was being forcefully evicted from the diplomatic property in Accra. Then, Spokesperson of the Ministry, Ferdinand Nwonye, the property on No. 10 Barnes Road, Accra, Ghana was “in use by the Ministry of Finance, since 1957, on leasehold and was later bequeathed to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”
Mr. Nwonye, however, noted that the lease on the property expired recently and the “High Commission has been exploring the possibility of renewing the lease agreement with the host authorities.”
He highlighted the fact that the “property in question is not housing either the Residence of the High Commissioner or the Chancery or staff quarters.”
Mr. Nwonye said conversations are still being held between the mission and appropriate host authorities.
“There is, therefore, no imminent diplomatic row with Ghana as being speculated by a section of the media,” he reiterated.
Meanwhile, on Friday, it was reported that the Traditional Ruler who allegedly owns the property had visited the place with evidence to show that he is the rightful owner of the land and returned on later, accompanied by armed men, who executed the demolition.
Officials stated that efforts were made by the Nigerian High Commission to contact the Ghanaian Police. But nothing was done by the Ghanaian authorities to stop the demolition.