Growing up, we heard diﬀerent tales of the multi colored sack bag called “Ghana must go”.
We were even told that Ghanaians were put inside the bag and deported. It was hilarious and a bragging right for us then. The tussle for supremacy between Ghana and Nigeria are like twins who just decided to disagree about issues regardless of what parents feel about it. There has been underground, disagreement between these two West African power houses, from joll of rice, social media banter, and country development bragging right to football.
It has become a way of life. Ghallywood and Nollywood have been the best in deﬁning what this romance should be like. However, there have been bad blood between this two nations over the closure of Nigeria owned shops in Ghana on the 10th of August 2020 by Ghana investment Promotion Council (GIPC) over a one million Dollar payment. There have trade of words between these two countries regarding this development. While the Minister of information in Nigeria , Dr. Lai Mohmmed and the Ghanaian foreign minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey have been on the go , trading words on who ﬁrst erred while the shops are still closed is not a good vibe.
It is more than 20 days yet we have only been at loggerhead with Ghana, searching for other ways they have trespassed and violated international law, the high commission closure, land seizure plus many physical confrontations. Of course twitter battle cannot be left out as youths have taken over, recanting history of who is bigger of the two. Shame! This dust raised by the Ghanaian Government clearly shows that there is no love lost between this two nations. The rivalry between the two that was just for banter sake has accumulated more bad blood every passing day and it is not healthy.
Our neighbors are our strength, they are meant to be each other’s fortress not their Achilles heel. For a long while, Ghana/ Nigeria had more than a bilateral relationship, it is on record that J.K RAWLING of Ghana and Gen Sani Abacha of Nigeria played a huge role in the peace process of Liberia and restoration of democracy in that country, a lot of great things that can be attained when this two nations come together. The 2000 Africa Cup of Nations was another one hosted by both countries and it was a huge success. There is a lot that unity provides when the both agree.
It is not far-fetched to say that in recent time, our image in international front has been disappointing. Despite the array of experienced diplomats we have in our foreign ministry, the result is not good. During the era of Olusegun Obasanjo as the President of our nation, the name Nigeria was a golden egg. Revered by all, we were indeed the “giant of Africa”, the hope of many African nations, we were rubbing shoulders with world powers, who felt threatened by our strength. Suddenly we have become a shadow of ourselves. I was really surprise when Chad was sending a note of warning to us all because of Boko Haram, “wetin musa no go see for gate”.
Cybercrime have been accused of our reputation been damaged but there was a Fred Chijundu Ajuda and Emmanuel Nwude who were advanced con artist then, it did not spoil the nations reputation. We cannot even put the blame on constant migration of Nigerians to other countries. Just recently, there was a plan to blacklist universities in northern Cyprus because the constant killing of Nigeria students but how much eﬀort have been put in place to make our universities a good place of learning not a depression arena. We cannot make a hell and demand its citizens to be calm in the furnace all because it is our home. I am really curious to know what our foreign policy is again and why it is not working out ﬁne for us.
We cannot make enemies of our neighbors; the concern about our border closure raised by the Ghanaian government should be really looked into, what has been the gain of its closure till now? Goods are still smuggled inside the country; it has only hiked the price of goods. The prices of made in Nigeria goods are not left out also. When we weigh the pros and cons of the closure and how it have aﬀected the our society, until recently the people we share this border with, it is time to review this process.
Yes we can enforce laws that will promote made in Nigeria goods (although we are yet to see any top government oﬃcial using an Innoson Motor as oﬃcial car) without having confrontations with other countries. It is no longer news that our citizens are nomadic in nature. We have to live with that reality and not pretend like it is not happening. Not that the nation is giving us reasons to stay by the way. If we set our country right, I really do not think that anyone would want to stay outside the shores of this country in search of greener pastures. Our land is already green aside this “used oil” a few individuals sprayed on it. We should by now be looking at measures to make our nation attractive for our Diaspora brothers.
We cannot aﬀord to go to war with Ghana not as assign of weakling; we know our strength but peace with our neighbors and allies like Ghana is of more beneﬁt. When they err, sound it out to them. The war of words we employed, the threat to recall our high commissioner and all legal avenues we wanted to employ showed our strength. It is laudable, we bent their knee to apologize, that showed who we are we showed our strength and the bowed. We must however avoid events like this, let the fault not just come from us at any point in time!