The President of the Nigerians In Diaspora. Organisation-Ghana, NIDO, Kaycey Ogbonna, has described as unfortunate, the generalisation of Nigerians in Ghana as criminals due to the actions of what he termed an “insignificant few Nigerians” in the country.
He expressed concern over the manner the Ghanaian media report incidents involving Nigerians by tagging them as a bunch of criminals.
Speaking in an interview with WeatAfrica24.com in Accra, Mr. Ogbonna noted that such biased comments had the tendency to damage the image of Nigeria as a country and Nigerians as citizens.
“People turn to tag Nigerians as a nation of criminals and that is very wrong. How can you conclude that a nation of over 200 million people are criminals just because one or two people were caught committing one crime or the other”.
“We believe that crime should be treated as a crime and not as a national identity. A criminal should be treated as criminal and there is no country you don’t see criminals”. He stressed.
He stated that there seems to be a
growing determination to clamp down on Nigerians and tag them as criminals.
Mr. Ogbonna noted that Nigerians are not criminals; saying investment of Nigerian businesses across the nation and the world at large runs into billions of dollars.
He added that their input into the African economy helps to sustain growth and development in the African countries, yet Nigerians are tagged as criminals.
“In Africa where many nations are tagged as under-developed, Nigerians are key players to the growth of those countries’ economy”. He indicated.
Mr. Ogbonna therefore appealed to the Ghanaian media to be circumspect in their reportage and refrain from making prejudiced comments and reporting against Nigerians living in Ghana.
He pointed out that such biased reportage had the potential to mar Ghana-Nigeria relations.
Mr. Ogbonna said continental politics and freedom fights like those in Zimbabwe and South Africa enjoyed financial and logistics support from the Nigerian government which according to him had earned Nigeria many political enemies in the international community.
He noted that this is a feat that had tainted the image of Nigeria for a long time, resulting in bad press for the country, as Nigeria was the voice of the voiceless then.
Commenting on the recent attacks on Nigerian traders in Ghana, Mr. Ogbonna noted that Ghanaian traders over reacted over the issue adding that Nigerians are not a threat to Ghanaian businesses.
“Ghanaian traders over reacted and sometimes I don’t blame them in general because a few of them that are supposed to be custodians of viable information are not helping to educate the people”. He noted.
Mr. Ogbonna insisted that there is the need for Ghana and Nigeria to partner each other for economic development, especially when such partnerships bring about mutual benefits, citing the existence of Nigerian Banks and other businesses in the country.
By: Paul Mamattah