The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) on Monday stormed the ECOWAS secretariat located Abuja to protest the closure of shops belonging to Nigerians in Ghana.

The protesters, who stormed the ECOWAS Secretariat as early as 9.30 am today, carried placards with various inscriptions such as “We need ECOWAS intervention,” “Ghana re-open Nigeria’s shops now,” “ECOWAS, the situation in Ghana is totally unacceptable,” “Ghana wants AFCTA secretariat but clamps on African traders,” among others.

The President of the association, Barrister Ken Ukaoha, said that the Nigerian traders were protesting the alleged victimisation of Nigerian businessmen in Ghana.

He lamented that the discriminatory and anti-Nigerian stance of the Ghanaian authorities had taken a new dimension with the recent passage of a new law by the Ghanaian parliament seeking to make the business environment hostile to foreign investors.

Barrister Ken Ukaoha, President NANTS
Barrister Ken Ukaoha, President NANTS

Ukaoha pointed out that since Ghana remained a signatory to the ECOWAS protocol on free movement of goods and services, there was the urgent need for the ECOWAS commission to bring the government of Ghana to order.

According to him, the association is giving the commission a one-week ultimatum to intervene in the matter, adding that if nothing is done before the expiration of the ultimatum, the association will deploy all its members to occupy the premises of ECOWAS.

The protesters had marched through major streets in Asokoro axis thereby causing serious traffic on Yakubu Gowon Way and some others before getting to the ECOWAS Secretariat to lodge their complaints.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that the protesters, numbering over 350 traders, were able to make a strong point on the justification of their grouse with activities of the Secretariat becoming nearly paralysed before they departed.