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Ghana apologises to Nigeria for embassy demolition
Ghana’s President Nana Akufo-Addo has apologised to Nigeria after a building inside the Nigerian High Commission compound in Accra was demolished.
Mr Akufo-Addo has ordered an investigation, a statement from the Nigerian government said after his call with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Armed men reportedly stormed the compound last week and destroyed buildings under construction.
Some of those involved have been arrested.
A businessman who had previously claimed that he owned the land where the building was being put up had led the demolition operation, according to an article posted on the Nigerian High Commission website in Ghana.
“The man showed up last week with some papers to support his claim and began to knock down the fence surrounding the building,” the article quotes a source at the ministry of foreign affairs as saying.
Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said a bulldozer was used during the 19 June incident which destroyed two residential buildings.
He called the demolition “outrageous and criminal” and urged Ghanaian authorities to protect Nigeria’s diplomatic buildings.
Nigerians living in Ghana held a demonstration on Monday to condemn the demolition.
Ghana’s foreign ministry said it regretted the incident and guaranteed that an investigation would be conducted, adding that security had been “beefed up” at the facility.
The country’s former President John Mahama, however, condemned the demolition and criticised his successor’s government.
“It beats my imagination how such a violent and noisy destruction could occur without our security agents picking up the signals to avert the damage,” Mr Mahama tweeted.
Ghana and Nigeria are two of West Africa’s biggest economies, they enjoy cordial diplomatic relations but have had their share of tensions over the years.
Last year some Nigerian-owned businesses in Ghana were closed with some reports saying it was a retaliatory move after goods belonging to Ghanaian businessmen were seized by Nigerian authorities who were clamping down on rice smuggling into the country.
Source: BBC NEWS