Nigerian traders at Suame Magazine back to work

Nigerian spare parts dealers at Suame Magazine in Kumasi who were forced to close down their shops following protests by their Ghanaian counterparts are back to work.

This followed a directive by the Ashanti Regional Police Command, asking the traders to reopen their shops while the authorities continued with negotiations to resolve the issues that led to the protests.

The police are, however, still maintaining their presence in the industrial enclave, monitoring the situation to ensure that peace reigns.

Days of protests by indigenous spare parts dealers at Suame recently compelled the Nigerians to close down their shops and flee for their safety.

According to the Ghanaian traders, by law, the sale of goods and the provision of services in the sprawling enclave were the preserve of Ghanaians.

They maintained that most foreigners in the retail business did not only evade taxes but also sold substandard products.

When the Daily Graphic visited the area Tuesday, the Nigerian traders were going about their business without any hitches.

Out of the 30 shops visited as of midday, only two were not opened.

A Nigerian shop owner, Mr Emeka Oke, said many of the shop owners were aware of the police directive to come back but had travelled to Accra for additional wares to stock their shops.

“We are happy the Ghanaian authorities are ensuring that the right thing is done. We can now safely do our business,” he said.

Mr Oke, who did not want to be captured on camera, said he was against the order given by the leadership of the Nigerian spare parts dealers not to speak to the media.

He thanked the Ghana government specifically for showing brotherly love by going to their aid during the period of confusion.

Assurance

In an interview, the Chairman of the Suame Spare Parts Dealer Association, Mr Godfred Adu, gave an assurance that all the members of the association would remain calm, while waiting on the government to implement the laws on retail trading.

“As you can see, no one is stopping anyone from doing his business. All we want is for the government to enforce the laws. We don’t have any problem with our Nigerian friends,” he said.

Police

When the Daily Graphic contacted the Ashanti Regional Police Command, the Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Godwin Ahianyo, said the police were patrolling the area, in spite of the return of the Nigerian traders.