An Association of Nigerians in Ghana has expressed sadness over the manner in which crimes by a few have been attributed to all Nigerians living in the country.
The association said the behaviour of the few bad nuts does not reflect the values of Nigerians living in Ghana.
There is a seeming tension between some Nigerians residing in the country and Ghanaians following the identification of some Nigerians as suspects in various criminal cases.
But Ogbonna Keyse, spokesperson for Nigerians in Diaspora said, “we are sad and worried because we know that majority of us are not like that. Nigerians are not criminals. Nigerians are not kidnappers. Nigerians are not murderers. Nigerians are good people, hardworking people.
Speaking on Eyewitness News on Monday, Ogbonna Keyse said a lot of Nigerians have lived in Ghana for many years and developed important relationships with Ghanaians and so such developments must not be allowed to mar that relationship.
“So many of us have lived in this country for ages. We have Nigerians that are 60 years old but born in Ghana, meaning that their parents were here over 80 years ago and they have made families and had deep relationships with Ghanaians. So for things like this to come and erode all this good things that has happened between us and our Ghanaian brothers, it is sad and we don’t feel fine about this,” he said.
The two most controversial kidnapping cases reported in the country; the one involving three girls from Takoradi as well as the two Canadians who were kidnapped in the Ashanti Region, involved at least four Nigerians.
The case of the three kidnapped Takoradi girls has a Nigerian standing trial while the kidnapping of the two Canadians had three Nigerians arrested as key suspects.
The development, among other issues, has led to some Ghanaians expressing resentment towards Nigerians in the country.
But Ogbonna Keyse believes that the suspects should be treated as individual criminals and their nationality must not be associated with the crime.
“We cannot deny the fact that a few Nigerians have committed crimes or engaged in things that are criminal in Ghana. It doesn’t really have anything to do with being Nigerian as a nationality. It has to be with an individual. The person is a criminal. These are very few people compared to the number of Nigerians in Ghana,” he said.
Some Ghanaians including musician, Manifest have taken to social media to urge Ghanaians to cease blaming all Nigerians in the country for crimes committed by a few.
The media has also been urged not to link crimes to a particular group as that could create unnecessary tensions.