Nigerian traders in Ghana allege harassment as woman commits suicide after shops’ closure

A Nigerian woman and mother of three resident in Ghana has reportedly committed suicide in Ghana, following  the closure of her shops by the Ghanaian authorities.

The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTs), Ghana Chapter, reported this in Abuja on Tuesday when its leadership visited the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, to seek the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter.

According to the president of the association, Chief Chukwuemeka Nnaji, said the deceased, Mrs Stella Ogonna Okpaleke, got her shops locked over her failure to meet strict trading conditions put by the Ghanaian government. The mother of three children committed suicide on September 22.

Nnaji in a petition to Buhari, also called for the intervention of the Federal Government over the alleged maltreatment of Nigerian businessmen in Ghana.

“She committed suicide based on her shop and that of her husband that were locked; the information we gathered was that when they locked the shop she lost hope of reopening it.

“She is from Nnewi Local Government (Area) in Anambra; we actually don’t know how much she owed, but we learnt that she took loan for her business,” Okpaleke said.

He said that the Nigerian community and traders in Kumasi, Ghana, were going through severe harassment

In her remarks, Dabiri-Erewa expressed the Federal Government’s condolences to the union and the family of the deceased.

She appealed to members of the union to remain calm and assured them that the president would intervene in their case to ensure a lasting solution to the problem.

“I am just going to start by appealing to you, I know it is painful, it is emotional, it is deep but I just urge you to remain calm.

“I appeal to you to remain calm and may the soul of Stella rest in perfect peace.
“When she is about to be buried, let us know so that we may send our condolence message to the family,” she said.

The Ghanaian authority is demanding that traders must have one million dollars as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana as stipulated in its Ministry of Trade and Industry Act, 2013.

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