Following the closure of her shops by Ghanaian authorities, a Nigerian woman and mother of three children has committed suicide, the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTs), Ghana Chapter, reported in Abuja on Tuesday. The association made the development known when the leadership visited the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, to seek the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter.
The President of NANTS, Ghana, Chief Chukwuemeka Nnaji, said Mrs Stella Ogonna Okpaleke, a Nigerian whose shops were locked for her failure to meet strict trading conditions put by the Ghana Government committed suicide on Sept. 22. Nnaji, armed with a petition to Buhari, called for the intervention of the Federal Government over the alleged maltreatment of Nigerian businessmen in Ghana. “Regrettably on Saturday, Sept. 22, one of our female members, Mrs Stella Ogonna Okpaleke, whose shop has been under lock and key by the Ghana authority committed suicide.
“She committed suicide based on her shop and that of her husband that were locked; the information we gathered was that when they locked the shop she lost hope of reopening it. “She is from Nnewi Local Government (Area) in Anambra; we actually don’t know how much she owed, but we learnt that she took loan for her business,” he said. According to him, the harassment on the Nigerian community and traders in Kumasi, Ghana, is so severe.“It is unfortunate that that very woman decided to take her own life,” Nnaji said and called on Buhari to urgently intervene to avert similar incidents in the future.
He said Nigerian traders were being unnecessarily stressed by Ghanaian authorities. In her remark, Dabiri-Erewa expressed the Federal Government’s condolences to the union and the family of the deceased. She appealed to members of the union to remain calm and assured them that the president would intervene in their case to ensure a lasting solution to the problem. “I am just going to start by appealing to you, I know it is painful, it is emotional, it is deep but I just urge you to remain calm.
“I appeal to you to remain calm and may the soul of Stella rest in perfect peace. “When she is about to be buried, let us know so that we may send our condolence message to the family,” she said.
The Ghanaian authority is demanding that traders must have one million dollars as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana as stipulated in its Ministry of Trade and Industry Act, 2013.