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HURIWA raises the alarm over xenophobic attack on Nigerians in Ghana


Emmanuel Onwubiko

Urges Buhari, ECOWAS to intervene
A PRO-DEMOCRACY and non-governmental organisation, Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), has raised the alarm over possible xenophobic attacks on Nigerians living in Ghana.

The rights group, however, urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to intervene so as to forestall possible xenophobic violence targeting Nigerians in Ghana following a string of cases of kidnapping and organised crimes in which some Nigerians were implicated.

HURIWA said her attention was called to the development in Ghana by some good spirited Nigerians and Ghanaians from Ghana who expressed worry that there could be imminent xenophobic attacks against Nigerians going by the extent of one-sided stereotyping by the media and top level political office holders in Ghana which graphically depict Nigerians as criminals and kidnappers.

In a statement signed yesterday by its National Co-ordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, the group said it had it on record that even the current President of Ghana participated in spreading hate messages against Nigerians by spreading the misperception that Nigerians are kidnappers.

HURIWA, therefore, tasked the President to personally intervene to forestall the occurrence of such xenophobia and targeted violence against Nigerians because even the political and media establishments of Ghana have begun systematic stereotyping of Nigerians as kidnappers and dangerous criminals.

The group, which noted that the extensive xenophobic violence in South Africa in which over three dozens of Nigerians have died started just like small rumours and then promoted in the South African black media in which foreigners who are blacks are classified as drug dealers and criminals, said: “When the early warnings came from South Africa about possible xenophobic attacks in which Nigerians were the principal targets, the Nigerian government overlooked these grave warnings but waited until dozens of Nigerians are butchered on the streets of South Africa before the Nigerian government made some kind of statements but has not adopted any measures to stop it.

“Even as we speak, Nigerians in South Africa live at their own risks due to the expanding frontiers of xenophobic violence against black foreigners living in South Africa even as the South African police and government have failed to curb the menace.

“This is a save our souls appeal to the Nigerian president to act decisively and immediately without any further delay to hold bilateral dialogues with the political authorities in Ghana to ask them to use legal and right based means to stop the local media of Ghana from spreading hate messages and xenophobia against members of the Nigerian community in Ghana because crimes and criminality have no national boundaries nor are crimes committed exclusively by certain nationalities to the exclusion of their hosts if such nationalities reside outside their native domains.”


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