Tensions have resurfaced at the Opera Square Market within the Central Business District of Accra as Ghanaian traders locked up shops owned by foreign nationals.
This is the second time such incident had occurred at this venue, where Ghanaian traders, particularly members of the Ghana Electrical Dealers Association, locked up foreign-owned shops operating within the Square.
The retailers took this action to get the government to enforce the law that reserves retail trade for locals.
An executive of the Ghana Electrical Dealers Association, Kofi Amanfo Ofori, said their actions were just to enforce the law.
“We are telling foreigners to leave our market. We are not telling them to leave the country. They can do wholesale but not retailing.”
Police, led by the Accra Regional Commander, DCOP Patrick Adusei Sarpong and the Accra Operations Commander of Police, Chief Supt. Kwesi Ofori arrived at the scene and attempted to stop the angry local traders.
Chief Supt. Kwesi Ofori said police had ensured a compromise with the agitating local traders.
“We are here appealing to the GUTA members to exercise restraint and use rightful means. We’ve asked the leadership to meet at the regional police office to dialogue with them and their Nigerian counterparts.”
According to Section 27 (1) of the GIPC Act, a person who is not a citizen or an enterprise which is not wholly-owned by a citizen shall not invest or participate in the sale of goods or provision of services in a market, petty trading or hawking or selling of goods in a stall at any place.
But the government says it is favouring diplomacy with respect to the enforcement of this law.
This has been met with anger from some local traders.
Other attempts at the enforcement of this law sparked confusion in Suame Magazine in Kumasi leading to the shops of some Nigerian traders being ransacked with threats of further violence.
Police in the Ashanti Region intervened and assured Nigerian traders at Suame Magazine that it was safe for them to return.