Nigerians flee to Ghana over impending elections, Boko Haram

The heated political atmosphere in Nigeria due to the country’s upcoming general elections in February has seen an influx of Nigerians into Ghana.

Confirming this to Citi News, the President of the All Nigerian Community in Ghana, Moses Owaru, said the influx of Nigerians into Ghana over the past few weeks can also be attributed to the general security challenges facing the country.

“Nigerians are coming to Ghana; yes I agree that the rate has increased a little bit but the issue of security in Nigeria – the Boko Haram is also making people come to Ghana,” he explained.

According to him, many Nigerian students are also coming to Ghana to study at the various tertiary institutions.

“Some students are also coming to Ghana so I wouldn’t say that it’s just because of the election that is why they are coming to Ghana,” he remarked.

Nigeria will in February head to the polls to elect a new President, and the country is also battling with the insurgence of Islamist Militant group, Boko Haram, whose activities claimed over 2,000 lives in 2014.

This situation is believed to have contributed largely to the migration of some Nigerians into neighbouring countries in the West African sub-region including Ghana.

Mr. Owaru indicated that the security situation in Nigeria is likely to escalate during and after the elections, which is why some Nigerians “wish to come to Ghana to stay till the election is over.”

He mentioned that since the Nigerian community in Ghana is expected to grow during this period, its leadership will “organize programmes to sensitize both the contestants in Nigeria and the Nigerians who are living in Ghana and even those who are coming.”

“It is to help them know how to comport themselves. They must live by the law and make sure they understand the environment they are coming in,” he added.

Reacting to the influx of Nigerians into Ghana, the Director of Operations at the Ghana Police Service, COP John Kudalor told Citi News, the Police are adequately prepared to address any security challenge that may arise due to the impending Nigerian elections.

“We have put in place measures and patrolling. I am sure very soon NADMO will get in touch with us. Meanwhile, we are making our security arrangements to make sure that if anything unforeseen happens, we will be able to contain it,” he assured.

According to him, the Ghana Police Service is on high alert due to the existing security situation in the sub-region.

“It’s not only in Nigeria, it’s a sub-regional issue with very important dimensions, but we will make adequate preparations,” he said.

COP Kudalor further disclosed that from November 2014, his outfit began preparations “and during the Christmas operations, that was also in mind.”

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