By Hillary Obayangbon, Accra

Ms Shirley Botchwey, Ghana Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

The government of Ghana has apologised to the Nigeria High Commission in Ghana following the demolition of a storey building on its premises said to be at the centre of land in litigation.

The building was demolished at the weekend.

Some men said to be armed with the assistance of a bulldozer broke through the locked gate and pulled down parts of a one-storey building which was still under construction on the compound.

Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey on Monday, June 22, visited the scene of the incident and said, “We are sorry this has happened.”

She also assured that the ongoing investigation into the matter would be transparent.

National Communications Director of the NDC, Sammy Gyamfi who addressed the news conference said “The entire primaries were conducted in an environment where those who could afford the biggest pecuniary or monetary inducement carried the day”.

“We will ensure that whatever the outcome is, we will not hide it from the people of Ghana or the people of Nigeria. It will be laid bare,” she said.

Ms Ayorkor Botchwey stressed that the incident was “not a government-sanctioned activity” adding that “our government respects the rule of law.”

On the links between the demolition and the Osu Stool, she said the matter would also be investigated.

Following the High Commission’s Charge D’ Affairs, Esther Arewa, describing the situation as “traumatic” Ms Ayorkor Botchwey said the commission will receive the required security.
“I can assure you that we will continue to provide you with protection as you are a diplomatic entity and therefore we will not allow anything untoward to happen,” she said.

“The relations between our two countries are too strong even if there is any kind of dispute, for it to end in something like this. This shouldn’t happen between Ghana and Nigeria.”

In response, Esther Arewa was hopeful that the investigation will bear fruit.

“We look forward to the Ghanaians government apprehending the culprit behind this and bringing him to book and also that within the shortest time frame, this building is put back up and the premises prepared.”

The Minority in Parliament has condemned the “shocking” demolition of property belonging to the Nigerian High Commission in Accra.

The incident happened in the late hours of Friday, June 20 by unidentified men, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.

Security has since been beefed up around the facility with investigations launched into the incident “to unravel the facts of the matter and bring the perpetrators to book”.

But in a statement issued on Sunday, June 21 by the Ranking Member of Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Minority said the caucus is embarrassed at the incident.

“The Government of Ghana must not underestimate the implications of this reckless act of unprovoked aggression not only for Ghana-Nigeria relations but also the negative reverberations in larger diplomatic quarters,” the statement said.

It expressed disgust at the statement issued by the Ministry, saying the latter lied since the incident happened “under the full protection of state security”.

“We hope the Foreign Ministry is not laying the foundation for a grand cover-up. We hereby serve notice that the Minority shall resist any such attempt.”

It demanded an “an independent public enquiry to thoroughly unearth the facts with the view of bringing the perpetrators to justice”.

It stressed: “Nothing short of this will suffice.”

The Minority expressed “solidarity and sympathies” with the Nigerian community, urging “calm particularly amongst the citizenry of both nations as we step up efforts in demanding justice”.

“There must be no reprisal action which would only exacerbate the already volatile situation.”