Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured Nigerian traders in Ghana that the Federal Government will ensure that they get justice despite the delay in resolving their concerns regarding some stiff business regulations imposed by Ghanaian authorities.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande, in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, said the vice president gave the assurance during a meeting with representatives of the Nigerian community in Ghana on Tuesday.
The meeting, which was held at the official residence of the Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, was focused on the challenges facing Nigerians living in the West African nation including the locking of hundreds of Nigerian owned shops.
Responding to the issues raised by leaders of the Nigerian community at the meeting, especially the maltreatment of Nigerians by Ghanaian authorities, Osinbajo reaffirmed Federal Government’s commitment to deal with the issues.
Osinbajo said that the delay in resolving these issues might be due to bureaucratic bottlenecks which were generally a drag on government activities.
“I will certainly convey the depth of your grievances to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“ I am sure that he will be deeply disturbed to hear that despite the assurances that he had received from the Ghanaian government, there are still problems and complications– many of which have been discussed at the highest levels with assurances of resolutions given.
“I look forward to getting the details and making sure that we are able to begin to resolve some of these issues as quickly as possible.
“But I think you must also recognise that generally speaking, governments tend to be very slow, processes are slow, bureaucracies are slow, but we will make sure that we do the very best we can to get you your rights, so that at least you are dealt with justly.”
He said that efforts were made in the past and even recently to resolve the crisis.
Osinbajo said that he had followed the developments closely and was familiar with many the reported incidents.
He said that the president had also asked that a review of all that had taken place be done.
“There have been direct communications between our president and President Akufo-Addo.
“Our president has spoken to him about this, he has made a formal complaint to him, and that conversation has been going on.
“ What the Ghanaian government pledged to do, on three occasions, was that the shops will be reopened. In fact, I am a bit surprised that it has not taken place because my understanding was that, that was going to be done.
“So, I think what we need to do aggressively is to follow-up with the Ghanaian government and to see that these things are done,” he said.
The vice president urged all affected traders through their associations and leaders to submit a more detailed letter containing the number of affected shops and other relevant information that would enable the Nigerian government to follow-up effectively..
Osinbajo urged Nigerians living in Ghana to remain law abiding and to embrace peaceful coexistence, adding that both governments would resolve the differences.
Earlier, the First Vice President of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association, Ghana (NUTAG), Chief Kizito Obiorah and a publisher of an Online medium, Mr Destiny Austin Omon, presented copies of their petitions to Osinbajo.
Obiorah said that the situation was becoming unbearable as many Nigerian traders whose shops had been locked since Nov.2019 had now resorted to begging to take care of their families.
He appealed to the Nigerian government to prevail on its Ghanaian counterpart to reopen their shops to enable them sell off their goods and return home to Nigeria.
On his part, Omon, said Nigerians were fast losing their self-esteem and dignity as a result of their maltreatment in the hands of Ghanaian authorities.
More so, the representative of Nigerian students, Mr Adebayo Ogunkoya, called for improved support for Nigerian students studying abroad and especially in Ghana, noting the peculiar situation in the West African country.
Other officials at the meeting included the Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, the President of NUTAG, Chief Chukwuemeka Nnaji, among others.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
MURIC mourns Emir of Zazzau
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) on Monday expressed grief over the death of the Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who passed on at the age of 84, in Kaduna.
MURIC director, Prof. Ishaq Akintola in a statement, also commiserated with the head of the Nigerian Muslim community, the Sultan of Sokoto and the Governor of Kaduna State over the death.
“The news of the passing away of the Emir of Zazzau is saddening.
“We commiserate with our leader, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar.
“Our sympathy also goes to the Zazzau Emirate Council, particularly the Yariman Zazzau, Alhaji Munir Ja‘afar and the good people of Zaria.
“Shehu Idris was the 18th Emir of Zazzau and the Chairman of Zazzau Emirate Council as well as the Kaduna State Emirate Council.
He added that the late Emir Shehu Idris was a diligent, pious and patriotic Nigerian.
He noted that his patience could melt Mount Everest.
“He once ordered his convoy to turn back and find another route instead of telling the police to attack a Shiite procession that refused to allow his convoy to drive past.
“May Almighty Allah overlook his shortcomings and grant him a lofty place in Al-Jannah Firdaus. May Allah give the family the fortitude to bear the loss,” he prayed.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the remains of the late Emir was laid to rest in the ’emir’s palace’ of the ancient city of Zaria, Kaduna State.
The funeral prayers were led by the Chief Imam of the Zazzau Emirate Council, Alhaji Dalhatu Kasimu, in the palace at 5. 35p.m. in accordance with Islamic rites.
In attendance were Gov. Nasiru El-Rufa’i of Kaduna State, Secretary to the State Government Balarabe Lawal-Abbas, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Yusuf Zailani, and other top government dignitaries.
The Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, led the federal government delegation that included the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, head of military and paramilitary, among others.
NAN reports that the monarch spent 45 years on the throne having ascended to the throne in 1975 at the age of 36, following the demise of Alhaji Muhammadu Aminu, the 17th Emir of Zazzau.
He attended Katsina Training College and taught at Hunkuyi.
He served as private secretary to the Sarkin Zazzau, Muhammadu Aminu.
He became the secretary of the Zaria Native Authority Council in 1965, took the title of Dan Madamin Zaria and became the district head of Zaria and Kewaye in 1973.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Ganduje mourns Emir of Zazzau
Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has commiserated with the people and government of Kaduna State over the death of Emir of Zazzau, Alhaji Shehu Idris, who died on Sunday at 84.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Abba Anwar, the Kano State governor described the death as a national tragedy and monumental blow to the nation’s traditional institution system.
He said “we lost a national hero, Alhaji Shehu Idris was an embodiment of humility, discipline, respect, statesmanship and exemplary leadership.
“His death leaves an indelible mark in the history of the Nigerian nation state.
“It is with sad note and deep sense of agony that we received the demise of this rare gem and a traditional leader of high repute with respectful global touch.”
Ganduje prayed for the reposed soul of the emir on behalf of the government and people of Kano State, to the families of the late emir, the Kaduna State government and the Zazzau Emirate.
“We pray for Allah’s blessing and forgiveness for the reposed soul of the great emir. May Allah forgive his shortcomings and reward his good deeds abundantly.” (NAN )
Edited By: Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu
NCDC records 97 new COVID-19 infections, total cases now 57, 242
The NCDC disclosed this on its official twitter handle on Sunday .
It added that three persons died of COVID-19 complications while 138 patients, who recovered at various isolation centres across the country the same day, were discharged.
Based on the figures released, Lagos state recorded the highest number of infections with 46 new cases.
The data released also indicated that Kwara recorded 12 new infections, Rivers 11, and Adamawa 4.
Others were Niger – 4, Ogun – 4, Osun – 4, Ekiti – 3, Imo – 3, Kaduna – 3, Plateau – 2, and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) – 1.
“Till date, 57, 242 cases have been confirmed, 48, 569 cases have been discharged, and 1,098 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the FCT,” the centre said.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Emmanuel Yashim
Buhari holds closed-door meeting with Ghanaian president at Aso Villa
President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday night met behind closed doors with President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Bashir Ahmad, the President’s Personal Assistant on New Media, confirmed this on his Twitter handle.
The presidential aide, who could not elaborate on the agenda of the meeting between the two leaders, however, posted pictures in which the Nigerian leader could be seen escorting his guest after the meeting.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the closure of shops owned by Nigerian traders in Ghana had heightened tensions between the two countries, a situation which led the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama to summon Ghana’s Charge d Affaires to Nigeria, Ms Iva Denoo for discussions.
Onyeama had also met with representatives of Nigerian traders in Ghana, led by Jasper Emenike, the National President of Progressive Ambassadors of Nigeria (PAN), and the organisation’s National Director, Ruth Ango over the matter.
The Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, had also visited Ghana on Sept. 2 with a view to seeing how the issues at stake could be resolved amicably.
According to the speaker, the closure of the Nigerian shops in Ghana contravenes the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on free movement of citizens of member states, and trade liberalisation scheme.
NAN reports that the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) adopted in 1979 with an agreement on agricultural, artisanal handicrafts, and unprocessed products, and extended to industrial products in 1990, is the main framework for trade and market integration in ECOWAS as it addresses protocols on the free movement of goods, persons, and transportation.
The scheme’s main pursuit of consolidating the free trade area is guided by the National Approval Committee that informs the member states.
Similarly, Article (3) of the Revised Treaty of ECOWAS on trade and market integration stipulates the removal of trade barriers and harmonisation of trade policies for the establishment of a Free Trade Area, a Customs Union, a Common Market and an eventual culmination in to a Monetary and Economic Union in West Africa.
NAN further reports that the Ghanaian government had proposed a meeting between the two leaders prior to the one they held behind closed doors on Sunday.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim