Ghana-Nigeria relations date back to the colonial era when descendants of Hausas from Nigeria were brought to the Gold Coast by the British government to fight the Ashantis.
Those recruits were the foundations of the Gold Coast Army. Indeed, it was the colonising of both countries by the British that gave Ghana and Nigeria a common means of communication, the English language, which has since helped to increase relationship between them.
Like Ghana, Nigeria is bordered by mostly French-speaking countries, which has created a sort of linguistic barrier for both countries.
Therefore, for nationals of the two countries, it is easier to do business and engage in other activities in each other’s country than it is with other countries in the sub-region.
Naturally, therefore, Ghana and Nigeria seem to bond with each other more than they do with other countries.
There are many Nigerians in Ghana who are engaged in all sectors of the economy, just as there are also Ghanaians plying their trade in business, education and academia, health, among many other areas, in Nigeria’s economy. Besides, there are intermarriages between citizens of the two nations.
Needless to say, citizens of both countries will agree that there are more that unite us than divide us.
It is true that we have had some disagreements or become overly competitive and protective of our terrains. But, despite these, we have managed to handle our differences well, such that nothing has soiled these brotherly relations.
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We have not forgotten the sad events of 1969, when many Nigerians were deported from Ghana, and what happened in 1993 when about one million Ghanaians living in Nigeria were also deported, which should serve as lessons for us all to comport ourselves.
That is why the Daily Graphic is particularly not happy with recent happenings in the country regarding the arrest and prosecution of suspects involved in suspected robbery and kidnapping cases.
We reason that crime should be treated as crime and not because it is committed by a Ghanaian or non-Ghanaian. In any case, in most of the cases where suspects have been arrested, local accomplices are always involved.
We share in the thoughts of the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Mr Frank Annor-Dompreh, that “if somebody commits a crime, let us deal with the fellow”.
We also agree with the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante-Apeatu, that it is wrong for any individual or groups of persons to attack any foreign national because some foreigners had been caught in criminal activities.
The Daily Graphic urges the police to be swift in dealing with lawless individuals who may want to take the law into their own hands to tarnish the flourishing relations between Ghana and Nigeria.
We also urge the media to be circumspect in their reportage of crime to avoid any stereotyping that will put all foreign nationals in bad light. Surely, it is disheartening when foreigners who have been received warmly take the hospitality of the hosts for granted.
On this note, the Daily Graphic implores opinion leaders and respected personalities in Nigerian communities in Ghana to continually jaw-jaw with their kith and kin, so that the few who want to tarnish the good reputation of their country and destroy the good relationship between the people of both countries would know the harm they are causing to all.