Editorial: Ghana, now dumping ground for people with deformities?
We have, umpteen times, raised concerns about the way Nigerien and other West African nationals are being bused into the country. Similarly, the state owned Daily Graphic has also published on two occasions the ‘invasion’ of the country by these foreign nationals, who are being brought into the country by people posing as contractors.
The duty of every media organisation is to inform, entertain and educate both the government and the general public. Regrettably, whilst the media has not reneged on its responsibility of informing, educating and entertaining the people, the government seems to have closed its ears to the information being supplied by the media.
Elsewhere, the government would have reacted immediately the media started raising the alarm over the way foreign nationals, most of whom have one form of disability or the other, are being dumped into the country. But, because we are behaving as people who are holier than the Pope, we do not see anything wrong with what is going on.
The flooding of this country of ours by foreign nationals to beg for alms did not start today – in fact, it started some years back, and even beyond the advent of the Fourth Republic. But, because we have kept quiet over the issue, it has apparently emboldened these people to keep coming into the country. As we previously raised in this column, the beggars have virtually taken over all the principal streets of Accra doing their brisk businesses.
The Chronicle admits that Ghanaians are also in other Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) countries. But whilst our fellow Ghanaians in these countries are working to contribute to the economic growth of their host countries, the same cannot be said about these Nigeriens, who have simply been sent here to beg for alms. Now, because they have been given the freedom to operate, they have started busing in people with all kinds of deformities.
Certainly, the government officials are aware of this, but everybody has kept quiet because we respect the ECOWAS treaty on free movement of people. Ivory Coast is also a member of ECOWAS, but they sacked these beggars from their streets because of the embarrassment they were causing to their national reputation. Tourists visiting Ghana will definitely assume that these are Ghanaians on our streets harassing them for support, but the truth is that these people do not even speak any Ghanaian language.
Another worrying aspect is that they have absolutely no intention of going back to their country of origin – they have come to stay and stay forever. The dangers are that since they do not have any skills or proper education, the possibility of resorting to armed robbery as a means for survival cannot be ruled out. Again, since these migrants are not being registered when they enter the country, immigration officials do not have any data on them. The question is – if a descendant of these migrants wake up one day that he or she wants to become president of Ghana, what is the evidence to stop him that he is not a true Ghanaian?
The future implication of what is going on at the moment is very dire, but our authorities seem to have taken things for granted. Well, The Chronicle, as a responsible media house, has pointed out the dangers and the need to remedy them, but if the authorities still think the ECOWAS treaty should supersede our national interest, so be it.