GHANA MUST GO
(Ghana and Nigeria would do better if they live as peaceful twins other than this cold war that has been passing from generation to generation. This is what happened. I doubt if this hated and anger which is a mutual feeling between the 2 countries is worth the innocent lives and blood of today’s generation.)
Let’s take a quick journey down history it will aid your understanding.
Around 1958 when oil was discovered in Nigeria in commercial quantity and was ready for exploration, Nigeria became a global center of attraction for tourism and commercial purposes.
Due to the huge deposition of oil found in the country, foreign investors and company’s began to make their way down to Nigeria. Shell came, then Mobil and Aqip. They were more concerned about drilling oil for commercial purpose.
The oil pumped without ceasing and the country’s wealth grew relatively. In 1970, the oil production was still favorable. Nigeria on the other hand kept on expanding and the standard of living improved greatly until they finally became the giant of African. This title they earned and secured for themselves. Still in all this, the production increased and Nigeria was producing up to 2.3 million barrels of oil per day.
Nigeria kept on booming and was doing better than a lot of African countries however our key country of concern in today’s article is Ghana.
Ghana is our neighboring country and during this period they were performing very poorly. Their country battled with drought and famine. Although they were the world’s largest cocoa producers especially in the 1960’s however, there was an un-explainable fall in the price of cocoa as of then which affected the country and the citizens coupled with the recent coup they experienced in 1966 which took Kwame Nkrumah out of sit.
The poverty grew all the more in Ghana as nothing was working there which made a lot of Ghanaian’s to leave their country in search of greener pasture and millions of them came to Nigeria the known prosperous country.
GHANAIAN’S SOUGHT FOR AID
Ghana was in great need of help and some Nigerian officials went there to give jobs to individuals who were willing and able to still work. Nigeria offered employment (as teachers, doctors etc. and other casual jobs.) and favor to the people of Ghana. Almost every Ghanaian had a relative working in one of the then 19 states in Nigeria and in the then 36 primary and secondary schools in Nigeria, reasonable number of Ghanaian’s worked there as teachers and they were known for their strictness.
However, life gradually became good and better for the Ghanaian’s and things went smoothly until in 1982 when there was a global oil glut (excess supply of oil in the global oil market.) as a result of this glut the price of a barrel of oil fell drastically from $37 to $29 in 1983 also Nigeria began to loss clients including USA because USA began to produce their own oil.
Gradually, Nigeria’s economy began to shake until it finally became unstable. The prices of things scarily went so high and gradually became un-affordable and the Ghanaian’s began to witness the hardship they ran away from in their country.
The Nigeria government could not control the situation and all her foreign reserves wiped out. Government could no longer pay the salary of workers and their poor decisions only made things more out of control.
The situation grew worse as politicians began to refer to the Ghanaian’s as aliens and blamed them for the national fall on the grounds that the Ghanaian’s had taken all the means of living and jobs and had increased the crime rate in the country and promised to chase them out. This affected the relationship between the Ghanaian’s and the Nigeria and their intermarriage relationship. This government was led by Shehu Shagari.
Not so long, the Ghanaian’s were openly harassed. On the 17th of January 1983 an announcement was made ordering every African migrant to return to their country and majorly of the migrants were the Ghanaian’s. 30th of January 1983 was fixed as the deadline. They barely had enough time to wrap things up as those who made money and built houses and other structures were forced to sell them to Nigerians at a very cheap rate and some left without even selling it.
They hardly had enough time to pack their things into bags so most of them if not all, packed their things into a bag quite common then and due to how great it was demanded and sold to the Ghanaian’s who were about leaving Nigeria the bag was called “Ghana must go bag” for easy identification although that name pierced through the hearts of the Ghanaian’s and still does till date as it reminded them of an event they prayed to be erased from history.
As the deadline approached all migrants marched to the boarder although even at that point, Ghana was still unstable as they were still under the military rule. Any Ghanaian’s left until 31st were beaten up. And up to a million Ghanaian’s left Nigeria.
As they crossed boarders, a lot died on the way. When they got to Benin-Togo boarders diseases broke out but then the United States sent aid and provided tents, blankets etc. to help them and even when their government sent ships to Benin to help some of them travel by sea, a lot died on the sea as they struggled to get a space in the ship.
The international community condemned Nigerians decisions however, it could not change anything especially the way it looked as if Nigerian government were paying them back for what their then prime minister; Kofi Busia did to the Nigerians residing in Ghana. See what he did.
So, after all that happened, in today music and movie industry and other associations you will see Nigerians and Ghanaian’s working together and striking deals however no formal reunion has been made and the ugly history both countries shared cannot be erased.