Foreign Ministry condemns demolition of diplomatic quarters in Accra

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration says it is investigating the demolition of a block of uncompleted apartments on the premises of the Nigerian High Commission in Accra by unidentified men on Friday evening.

According to a statement issued by the ministry over the weekend, the actions of the armed men was in breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR, 1961), adding that perpetrators would be brought to book.

It said the government has beefed up security at the premises of the High Commission and the situation was under control.

The ministry, however, expressed regrets over the incident and assured the Nigerian High Commission and other diplomatic missions in the country of their safety and regard for the rule of law.

“We reassure the diplomatic community in Ghana and the Nigeria High Commission in particular that Ghana remains a law-abiding country and that the principle of rule of law is always upheld. The government will not relent on its obligation to guarantee the safety of the members of the diplomatic corps in the country,” the statement noted. 

Armed men with bulldozers demolished the uncompleted apartments which were being constructed to house staff and visiting diplomats to the High Commission.

When the Ghanaian Times visited the scene on Sunday, it observed that the frontage section of the apartment was mostly destroyed with concrete slabs and cement blocks on the ground.

The Head of Security of the Nigerian High Commission, Emmanuel Kabutey, said the armed men entered the property and started demolishing the apartment with a caution to all present not to interfere.

He noted that some government officials and top-ranking staff of the High Commission had visited the site to ascertain the magnitude of destruction.

Meanwhile, Geoffrey Onyeoma, Nigerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, in a post on Twitter, condemned the incident, describing it as “criminal”.

He said the Nigerian government was engaging its Ghanaian counterpart for urgent action to be taken to find the perpetrators and urged for adequate protection for Nigerians and their property in the country.

In a related post, Member of Parliament (MP) of North Tongu and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, described the incident as “very disturbing development with possible devastating consequences for Ghana-Nigeria relations if not well managed.”

He urged both sides to remain calm and work toward preventing an escalation in the spirit of the two country’s enviable ties.

BY TIMES REPORTER

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