There seems to be no end in sight to the quarrel between the Ghanaian Union of Traders Association (GUTA), and their Nigerian counterpart, as members of GUTA have once again shut up shops belonging to Nigerian traders.
According to saharareporters.com Ghanaian traders at the Abossey Okai spare parts market in Accra insisted the laws of Ghana do not allow foreigners to engage in retail trade.
They also accuse the Nigerians of selling substandard products at low prices; a practice the Ghanaian traders say is killing their business.
JoyFM reports that the local traders claimed the Nigerians have enough money to pay for steep prices charged by shop owners, a practice which disadvantages the locals.
These grievances forced the local traders to lock-up the shops of the Nigerians and demanded that they shut down their “illegal” operations.
But the Nigerian traders are infuriated over the repeated attacks.
The leadership of the Nigerian Traders Association of Ghana has urged their members to resist the attacks from the locals.
Chief Emeka Nnaji, who spoke to JoyNews, lamented the inaction from the government and police after the repeated attacks on them.
“I cannot live in this illegality anymore,” he charged, adding that if the Ghanaian traders want them out, they should buy all their goods and they would pack and leave the country.
Following the Tuesday disturbances, MP for the area, Ebenezer Gilbert Nii Narh, the leadership of the traders union at Abossey Okai and the police commander for the area went into a meeting to iron out the differences. The resolutions from the meeting have yet to be made public.
Meanwhile, President of the Nigerian Traders Association of Ghana, Chief Emeka Nnaji, says the consistent lock-up of Nigerians’ shops by the Ghana Union of Traders Association (GUTA) is due to envy.
Nnaji, in an interview on Joy FM’s Newsnight Wednesday, decried the frequent attacks of Nigerian traders in the country by their Ghanaian counterparts.
His comments come after the Abossey Okai Spare Parts Dealers Association locked up all the shops belonging to Nigerians in the area on Tuesday.
According to the Association, the laws of Ghana do not allow foreigners to engage in retail trade, the reason for their action.
But Nnaji described the Ghanaian traders’ actions as ‘laughable,’ noting that the perpetrators also breach the law when they carry out such activities.
“They (GUTA) themselves do not know what the law is about. If they did, they wouldn’t have locked up anybody’s shop, because that in itself is a crime.”
He said supposing the claims that their trade is illegal is true, unilaterally locking up their shops is also unlawful, and “two wrongs do not make a right.”
He further suggested all relevant stakeholders should have a meeting and identify a sustainable solution to this canker.
Nnaji said the disagreement, which started in 2007, adversely affects business owners, adding that could affect the relationship between the two countries.