On the meddling of government in Nigerian's travails

It is true that we have no business eulogizing government for doing what is expected of it, but given the public outcry that precipitated its action and the need for us to see more of such responsiveness, we are duty bound to.

Of course nobody applauds a father for standing against any external aggression targeted at his children. There is really nothing cheer-worthy in that! But when a father, notorious for inaction when his child is pummelled or rants to the extent that his ranting doesn't get to the ears of the aggressor, turns round into extracting recompense for his injured child, then does that father deserve our collective approbation.

This aptly applies to the Federal Government of Nigeria. It appears to have gone beyond mere vociferating whenever Nigerians citizens are taken for a ride into making a return ride out of it! This feat, it has recorded in Ghana and is spoiling to bring same reprieve to our citizens in the Bakassi Peninsula.

To quell your curiosity on the accomplishment being referred to, the Federal Government has succeeded in securing a reversal of the Ghanaian government's closure of over 40 shops belonging to Nigerian traders which were closed on February 6, 2013 for alleged violation of Ghana's laws on trading by foreigners.

If this hits you as puny, do realise that many Nigerians called on government to act when the news broke out. Pundits took to the issue x-raying it under different shades. Even the affected traders, who told that they made the market, were unequivocal in their call for government to intervene.

Thank goodness, the Federal Government stepped in, now the traders can get back to their means of livelihood. This calls for commendation as the government could have continued in its over-beaten track of not giving a damn. It gives us a ray of hope that all is not lost.

As the United States President, Barack Obama postulated, "if the people cannot trust their government to do the job for which it exists- to protect them and to promote their common welfare- all else is lost."

The enthralling thing about this intrusion by the government is that it didn't startle our ears with much promises about handling the matter, instead it swung into action and came forth with a result. Result is the outcome of action not promise! It is as if government knows that its pledges count for nothing to the citizens hence their quiet approach in doing what should be done and regaling us with the news at the apropos time.

The news was disclosed at the inauguration of the National Organising Committee for the seventh ECOWAS Trade Fair holding in Accra between October 24 to November 4, 2013 by Nigeria's Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment- Dr Samuel Ortom who assured, "we are working with our foreign affairs counterpart to ensure that we interface with Ghanaian officials to stop the harassment of our traders in Ghana."

Maybe, we can accommodate his promise considering the respite their action has come about. For the agreement to re-open the shops was reached at a meeting between the Ghanaian Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Haruna Idrissu and a Nigerian delegation to Ghana led by Dr Ortom.

The Ghanaian trade minister, who pointed out some issues of violation of mutual agreement which the Nigerian government promised to look into, expressed happiness over the way Nigeria handled the issue.

But then one may be tempted to ask: why won't the Ghanaian minister express happiness when the Nigerian delegation never bothered him with the kind of agreement it was that the other party(Nigeria traders) are oblivious of and that contravenes an extant ECOWAS protocol to that effect?

Again, why won't Mr Idrissu be happy when we didn't give his country the Mosaic Law treatment of, in the same measure, closing their shops here in Nigeria? Oh, I forgot that we don't have much of their shops around. Their country is now so flourishing that gone are the days when they and their businesses were so ubiquitous in our country.

While government commands compliments for achieving expected result as regards the closure of Nigerian shops debacle, it will be more instructive for the Nigerian government to do more in retaining Nigerian businessmen in the country instead of allowing them relocate to develop other lands and get badgering in return.

Dr Ortom whose ministry is key to trade and investment in this country should use what is happening to Nigerians in Ghana, nay other countries, as a springboard into executing such policies that will make Nigeria more investment friendly for Nigerians and non-Nigerians.

For only then will there be no need for him and other government officials to leave their duty posts here in Nigeria to go and massage the egos of the Ghanaian authorities into unlocking the shops of Nigerians that should not be locked in the first place! And for the Minister's promise of working to stop further harassment of Nigerian traders in Ghana, it's hoped he lives up to that.

Still on the country standing up in defence of its citizens, the Minister of Interior, Mr Abah Moro, has assured Nigerians living in the troubled Bakassi Peninsula that the federal government was taking measures to protect them from the belligerence of the Cameroonian gendarmes.

He spoke against the backdrop of some 17 Nigerians feared killed with 1900 others displaced when the gendarmes attacked them in their village- Efut Obot Ikot. Indeed, many are the afflictions of Nigerians, but it is incumbent on the government to deliver us from them all. For that is the prime reason for government's actuality!

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

Articles by Ugochukwu Ugwuanyi