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Minority statement on demolishing at the Nigeria High Commission “unfortunate” — Security expert

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On June 20, an article published by Joy Online claimed that armed men had demolished structure belonging to the Nigerian High Commission. in the video attached to the report, an uncompleted building on the premises of the Nigerian High Commissioner is seen being demolished with personnel form the Ghana Police providing security for the exercise to run smoothly.

The Paramount Chief of the Osu Traditional Area and the President of the Greater Accra Regional House of Chiefs, Nii Okwei Kinka Dowuona VI under whose authority the demolishing exercise was effected, in a rejoinder described the report as wrong and without any justification. Clarifying that the said parcel of land belongs to the “Osu Stool and has been trespassed upon by an unknown persons acting under the political influence of the Nigerian High Commission”

In a statement, Ghana’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration said the incident was being investigated with the aim of bringing perpetrators to book. 

The statement reads, “It has come to the attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration that unidentified individuals had allegedly breached the premises of the Nigeria High Commission in Accra and demolished its property under construction around 10:30pm on Friday, 19th June, 2020.

“The ministry views with concern this development which is a breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR. 1961). 

“Accordingly, investigations are ongoing to unravel the facts of the matter and bring the perpetrators to book. Meanwhile, the Government of Ghana has beefed up security at the said facility and the situation is under control.

“Whilst expressing regrets over the incident, the ministry wishes to reassure the diplomatic community in Ghana and the Nigeria High Commission in particular, that Ghana remains a Iaw-abiding country that upholds the principle of the rule of law, where due process is followed at all times. The Government will, therefore, not relent on its primary obligation to guarantee the safety of members of the Diplomatic Corps in Ghana.”
 

A statement signed by Ranking Member, Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, stated that it is “disgusted” at a statement issued by Ghana’s Foreign Ministry on June 20, 2020.

The Minority said it condemns “this totally reckless act of aggression which violates international law and gravely undermines Ghana’s longstanding diplomatic relations with Nigeria.”

The statement said that the perpetrators are not known by authorities. However, Mr Okudzeto Ablakwa said “when by all eyewitness accounts, the demolishing was carried out under the full protection of state security. We hope the Foreign Ministry is not laying the foundation for a grand cover-up. We hereby serve notice that the Minority shall resist any such attempt.”

Reacting to the statement of the Minority on the ‘Anopa Bosuo Morning Show’ on Green FM, Mr. Paul Boateng CEO of Africa Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies (ACSIS), described the statement as unwarranted. According to him the minority should have taken their time to investigate the issue before making any statement on the issue. He chastised the minority for sacrificing the image of the country for political interest.

“sometimes we don’t rush to do some of these things: international relation is complex, diplomacy is not something to toil with. Sometimes you need to take time”

He chastised the minority stating “look at their choice of words, anyone who has studied diplomacy who reads this will say things I don’t want to say, because if you are a student and you use such emotional words in your essay, your lecturer will underline them. Look at the words as an MP and the minority used forgetting its the image of the country we are dealing with.”

When the host, Kofi Asante asked what words he found particularly worrying in the statement by the Minority, Mr. Boateng said “..there are a lot of words that i don’t want to mention, we are dealing with the image of the country, read the first paragraph and the second paragraph, no matter what the political difference we have, we should not project Ghana as a lawless state to others, its unfortunate they issued that statement “

Wriiten by Evans Quaye


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