In this article I intend to be as blunt as can possibly be, whatever I say in this article does not and should not reflect on all Ghanaians, this article is raising a very controversial subject so please proceed with the understanding that this is not me generalizing or denying that there are Nigerian criminal elements in Ghana. In my time in Ghana too many Ghanaians go out of their way to seek justice for any foreigner they know is being tackled unjustly, this article is targeted at the suffering of Nigerians who suffer in Ghana just based on the sole fact that they are Nigerians.
According to BBC
A court in Ghana has fined six Nigerians around $2,500 (£2,040) each for attending a birthday party on Saturday in the capital, Accra.
Gatherings were banned under a three-week lock down to stop the spread of corona virus, which has now been partially lifted.
The six pleaded guilty.
If they cannot pay the fine they will face a prison term of five years.
At least 50 people are said to have been at the birthday party in the Accra suburb of Teshie.
But the police say they only managed to arrest six people while the rest are still at large.
Similar prosecutions are ongoing across Accra.
THE REALITY OF THIS VERDICT
What most people do not realize is that here in Ghana when you are fined by the court system in Ghana, you are required to pay immediately or go to jail.
Now Do I think this is extremely harsh?
YES. My point is that the lock down was implemented to save lives, if truly this is the case I think that these people should be made to face community service instead of ruining their entire life because of lock down violation, in which they themselves are ultimately the victim, 12 months prison time with mandatory community service while they are in prison would be very good, they can take it a step further and publicize them doing this community work so they are both shamed and punished, no one will want to be a victim.
5 years is a lot of time from a human life for violating a crime that is intended to guard their lives as well.
Do I think this sentence was this harsh because they are Nigerians?
YES. I say this because around 800 Ghanaians have been arrested for the same violations, were they made to suffer the same sentence and with the same harshness?
The Director of Police Public Affairs, Superintendent Sheila Kesse Abayie-Buckman disclosed that 127 cases in relation to the violation of lockdown restrictions were currently at the court.
She said 458 out of 810 were granted bail by the various courts.
“The number of cases in the court stood at 127 and the number of persons involved in these cases was 810 so out of these, 458 were granted bail by the various courts and the people who were convicted stood at 54. I am sure you heard about the conviction of people who were throwing a party yesterday. So these are part of those arrested,” she added.
Am I expected to believe 458 Ghanaians paid 14,400 GHS/$2500 each as bail? I don’t think so?
The treatment of Nigerians in this situation only goes to show us how unwelcome and disliked we are in the country. Most of us who remain in Ghana basically stay in the country with anxiety, for once you are a Nigerian in Ghana and you are in the wrong, no matter how slight your offence you get the worst arm of the law, when you seek for justice and you are in the right, you still get the worst arm of the law or you get no justice at all.
I have been a victim of this as well, so I speak from first hand experience that many Nigerians will testify of the same treatment across the board.
Till now Nigerian shops are still locked even when there is an official order from the president to reopen the shops, we have no rights in Ghana and this is what we must deal with because as it is, Nigerians globally are like a people without a country or a government.
Why Do I Think The NIGERIAN defendants are to BLAME?
Truth be told, every Nigeria in Ghana has come to understand that they are not liked or welcomed by majority of the Ghanaian populace. Most landlords do not even accept Nigerian tenants in Ghana, where ever you go regardless of how upright you are as a person, you get to be treated like a common criminal and everyone feels it’s justified because you happen to be Nigerian.
Most Nigerians who have been here for too long like myself just want to get along and survive without facing any of the discrimination or prejudice that Nigerians must face on the regular, so I keep the law to the letter and try not to go outside beyond my area of comfort because one thing is sure, no matter how much you keep the law, you only have to be a Nigerian to face that discrimination eventually and it can lead to strange things in seconds. (The prisons in Ghana are full of Nigerian boys who committed minor crimes or are innocent entirely, not to say that those bad eggs dont exist but if Nigerians are as terrible as they are portrayed, Ghanaians would have sent every single Nigerian home long time ago)
You can even see it in comments on facebook, just because I am a Nigeria commenting on my experiences in the society and culture of Ghana or sharing knowledge that I know will be useful to both Ghanaians and Nigerians, the hate I face for that alone is outstanding.
As a Nigerian you dare not comment on anything Ghanaian, regardless of how long you have been in Ghana or are capable of contributing positively to the people or Ghanaian society.
You commentary is unworthy based purely on the fact that you are Nigerian, this is backward but this is also black man for you, if feel that this is the nature of the black man in general towards their brothers.
What intrigues me about this is that fools who have just thrown away their lives away for a birth day celebration, know how Ghanaians are when anything Nigeria is involved. So why would you want to give them the chance to disgrace and humiliate you? I hope that this serves as a strong message of warning to all Nigerians in Ghana, your country is trash, Ghanaians are aware of the situation in Nigeria as it is, trust they will take any chance to oppress you at the slightest error you make, please do not be a victim. Keep the laws to the letter and try your best to avoid any association that will put you and your loved ones in a state of emergency.
This has been my perspective on this matter, please let me know your mind, was it deserved or a bit extreme?