Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah has entreated the media and other public actors to exercise circumspection in condemning Government for sanctioning the demolition of a structure on the premises of the Nigerian High Commission in Ghana.
He said the matter bothered on diplomatic property as clearly stated in the Vienna Convention, which required the State to protect such property, and Government would therefore address the issue in a proper legal manner.The demolition of the Nigerian High Commission’s property attracted both local and international condemnation, with some fearing that it could end up in diplomatic row between Ghana and Nigeria if not properly addressed.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah, who was responding to the demolition matter at the Minister’s briefing, on Tuesday, emphasised that Government did not sanction the demolition, contrary to media speculations that it ordered the action.
Government of Ghana has since apologized to the Nigerian government following the demolition of the structure at the weekend.
Subsequently, Government has ordered proper investigation into the matter.
Media reports indicate that some men said to be armed, with the assistance of a bulldozer, broke through the locked gate and pulled down parts of a one-storey building which was still under construction on the compound.
Meanwhile, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, on Monday, June 22, visited the scene of the incident and apologised to the Nigerian High Commissioner in Ghana.
She also assured that the ongoing investigation into the matter would be transparent.
“We will ensure that whatever the outcome is, we will not hide it from the people of Ghana or the people of Nigeria. It will be laid bare,” the Minister said.
Ms Ayorkor Botchwey emphasised that the incident was “not a government-sanctioned activity” and that government respected the rule of law.
On the connection between the demolition and the Osu Stool, the Minister said it would also be investigated.
The Minister said that even if it is a disputed land, the Government expected the aggrieved persons to go to court for redress.
“For this to happen, it’s so unfortunate. We haven’t seen any court order…this is most unacceptable and we condemn this action,” she added.
Ms Ayorkor Botchwey gave the assurance that the Nigerian Commissioner in Ghana would receive the required security.
“I can assure you that we will continue to provide you with protection as you are a diplomatic entity and therefore we will not allow anything untoward to happen,” she said.
“The relations between our two countries are too strong even if there is any kind of dispute over the land, for it to end in something like this it’s unfortunate. This shouldn’t happen between Ghana and Nigeria,” Ms Ayorkor Botchwey stated.