Several shops were shut down today at the Kwame Nkrumah Circle in Accra after people suspected to be of Nigerians descent allegedly ransacked and looted shops belonging to their Ghanaian counterparts on the Tip-Toe Lane, Accra.
According to some Ghanaian shop owners, they received calls at dawn informing them that some Nigerians were destroying their shops under the guise of being members of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA) Taskforce.
According to them, information available to them suggested that the Nigerians had paid huge sums of money to the AMA taskforce to clear the Ghanaians to make way for new shops built by the Nigerians.
Mobile phones, laptops, electronic accessories, and other valuables were stolen from the ransacked shops, the traders allege.
In an interview with the man who gave out the land to the Nigerians, Mr Michael Sarpong, he condemned the actions of the foreigners, explaining that the matter was before the law court.
“The issue is at the law court. I told them [Nigerians] to stop building but they did build at a time that no one was around. I am against what they have done and since the issue is at the law court I don’t want to say much. I allocated the land to them but they have breached the contract [I have with them],” he explained.
The Chairman of Circle Trader’s Union, Mr Seth Kojo Owusu Yeboah, known to many in the area as “Chairman 1”, expressed grief over the unfortunate incident, calling on the government to ensure justice prevails.
“We don’t know the Nigerians; they must pay for the damages caused. We were not informed. Why would they operate at dawn if it was legit? It was not an AMA operation else we would have been informed. The government must come in,” Mr Yeboah urged.
Mr Henry Quartey, Deputy Minister of the Interior who rushed to the scene asked the residents to calm down as the government will make sure justice is served.
He assured shop owners who were affected to take heart, reiterating the NPP government has indigenous businesses at heart.
The Head of the Rapid Response Unit of AMA in Accra, Mr Moses Abor who also visited the troubled scene, urged the distressed Ghanaians to calm down as the [AMA] Taskforce was yet to investigate the matter.
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He, however, made it clear that the AMA was not part of the “gang” that raided the shops.
Some Circle traders have called on the government to sack all foreigners, especially Nigerians who own shops at the Tip-Toe Lane or they stage a demonstration.