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Diasporian News of Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Source: punchng.com

Ghana denies maltreating Nigerians over positive coronavirus result

President Muhammadu Buhari and President Nana Akuffo-Addo President Muhammadu Buhari and President Nana Akuffo-Addo

The Ghanaian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Rashid Bawa, has denied reports that his country was maltreating and harassing Nigerians who tested positive for coronavirus.

Bawa pointed out that while the coronavirus Polymerase Chain Reaction test is mandatory, Ghana would not maliciously produce coronavirus positive test results for visitors.

The High Commissioner stated this when he visited the Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa in Abuja, on Tuesday, December 14, against the backdrop of alleged maltreatment of a Nigerian who tested negative to coronavirus in Dubai only to test positive on arrival in Ghana.

A Nigerian artiste had also reportedly narrated how he was told in Ghana that he had coronavirus even after testing negative at a facility in Nigeria.

Nigerians who had suffered a similar fate also complained that they were forcefully taken to a hotel where they were made to pay about N500,000 for one week quarantine while Ghanaians who tested positive were taken to a free facility.

They said foreigners were given cold food and no toothpaste despite the huge charges.

The victims, who disclosed that their passports were seized at the airport, warned other Nigerians against visiting Ghana for now.

The Senate had resolved to investigate the incident in September after a motion sponsored by Senator Yahaya Oloriegbe (Kwara Central).

But addressing the allegations, Bawa, whose accreditation to Nigeria was just renewed by Accra, said “Ghana will not maliciously produce coronavirus positive test results for visitors, especially Nigerians visiting Ghana.”

According to a statement by Gabriel Odu of the Media, Public Relations and Protocols Unit, NiDCOM, the envoy also expressed concern about the increasing number of underaged Nigerian girls being trafficked to Ghana, stressing that everything should be done to prosecute the syndicate behind the dastardly act.

The statement was titled, ‘Coronavirus testing: No deliberate policy to embarrass Nigerians-Ghanaian envoy.’

The ambassador acknowledged that both countries in recent times have experienced some challenges, despite the long bilateral relationship between them.

“One of such is the growing tension concerning Nigerian traders in Ghana, which according to the Ghanaian High Commissioner, a Memorandum of Understanding has been reached between the Ministers of Trade in Ghana and Nigeria. Also, a Joint Task Force was set up to further monitor the situation.

“Furthermore, Mr Bawa stated that both countries will stop at nothing to fish out perpetrators of cyber crimes and syndicates trafficking Nigerian female minors from Nigeria to Ghana, for prostitution,” the statement said.

He commended Dabiri-Erewa for her diligence in projecting the Nigerian diasporas as an important factor in the development of Nigeria and hopes that a similar commission would be replicated in his home country.

The NiDCOM chairman agreed with Bawa that the coronavirus test is a prerequisite for visitors coming to Ghana but stressed that “the Ghanaian authorities must ensure that visitors are treated with dignity, fairly and humanely.”