The Nigerian High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Michael Olufemi Abikoye, has slammed the Ghanaian media over their reportage on the involvement of some Nigerians in kidnapping cases in Ghana.
He said linking Nigerians to the kidnappings has caused pain to Nigerians living in and out of Ghana.
In a statement, the Nigerian High Commissioner said: “The Ghanaian press, both print and electronic, as well as social media seem to have enjoyed a field day in demonising Nigeria, which, for all intents and purposes, is seen as a fraternal brother to Ghana”.
This line of reportage “has caused untold pain, agony as well as apprehension” to Nigerians in Ghana.
He said, “This has compelled it to appeal to local traditional media and social media to be highly circumspect in such reportage.”
“The ongoing media trial of criminals which was now being turned into a media trial of Nigeria as a country, calls for moderation on the part of media practitioners in Ghana.”
”Suffice to say that at times like this, a situation where five (5) Ghanaians in the company of three (3) Nigerians allegedly kidnapped two (2) Canadians but seems to enjoy wider press coverage as a crime committed by the Nigerians and considers Ghanaians only as accomplices leaves much to be desired on the objectivity of such report.
“Moreover, such media trials could be seen as prejudicial to the outcome of the ongoing prosecution in court which sees them as innocent until proven guilty. On this note, the Nigeria High Commission wishes to reiterate its stand that whoever commits a crime and is found guilty must face the consequences of his/her action. For its part, the High Commission will continue to mobilise all Nigerians living in Ghana to obey the domestic laws. The High Commission is also in touch with all relevant host authorities with a view to amicably resolve the issue,” the statement added.
It further said: “This has become highly imperative in view of its larger implications on Nigerians living in Ghana and Ghanaians living in Nigeria as well. Moreover, the excellent relations that subsist between Nigeria and Ghana as maternal brotherly countries under His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari and his brother, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo can never be allowed to be jeopardised by xenophobic tendencies over such intents”.