A group calling itself the Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders in Nigeria has issued a 24-hour ultimatum to the Ghana Union Traders Associations (GUTA) to unlock all Nigerian-owned shops that have been shut down in various market squares in Ghana.
“We give them a 24-hour ultimatum from the time of this press release to immediately unlock Nigerian shops that they locked unlawfully,” the Punch quotes President-General of the Coalition of South-East Youth Leaders Ibem Goodluck as saying.
GUTA has raised concerns about foreigners engaging in retail trade in Ghana contrary to the laws of the country, resulting in a protracted conflict.
Members of GUTA have been on a shop-locking spree in Ghana’s two biggest cities, Accra and Kumasi. Even though the Ghanaian authorities and the security agencies have intervened, GUTA is not budging.
At a press conference in Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital, Mr Ibem said: “The action of the group [GUTA] contravenes international laws and it’s an infringement of the fundamental human rights and privileges of Nigerians and other nationals doing business in Ghana. It’s a total travesty of the law for GUTA to do what they just did.
“GUTA lacks the powers to ascribe to itself the duties of the police or other security agencies in Ghana. Intimidating and harassing Nigerians is totally unacceptable and we condemn it in its entirety.
“We call for the immediate arrest and prosecution of GUTA members who took the laws into their hands by illegally locking up the shops of Nigerians, which is not their duty. For every offence, they must be punished.
“We demand that those GUTA members be punished for insulting and embarrassing the government of Ghana. Self-help is a crime anywhere in the world,” the statement noted.