Experiencing childhood in Nigeria, Ghana, and other neighboring nations, you must have heard of the popular term “Ghana Must Go”. Indeed! It is the name of a typical large sack used to store things or pack loads when traveling. They were modest, standard packs. They had no name and came in blue and red, in enormous and medium sizes, all checked. They were needed in Lagos markets with a force never experienced. Nigerian brokers sold out of the sacks as hundreds bumped to get the greatest number possible pack their things into.
Be that as it may, have you at any point asked why this pack, called “Chinatown tote” in the USA and “Tuekenkoffer” in Germany, is classified “Ghana Must Go” in Nigeria and Ghana? All things considered, somebody didn’t simply sit and coin the name for the pack, a genuine episode that occurred in Nigeria in 1983 initiated the sack “Ghana Must Go”.
In 1983, Nigeria expelled two million undocumented West African migrants, 1/2 of whom have been from Ghana. The sturdy checked luggage into which they packed their belongings has to grow to be a symbol of exclusion and intolerance. Nearly four decades later, the area is yet to confront its emotions
Ghana Must Go, was a well-known name given to the movement of illicit Migrants (generally Ghanaians) from Nigeria following a Presidential executive order
In 1983, the President of Nigeria, Shehu Shagari gave an official request ordering migrants without appropriate migration reports to leave the nation or they would be captured by the law. The request was in supposed reaction to the strict unsettling influences that had inundated pieces of the nation in 1980 (Kano 1980 Riots ) and 1981. The vast majority of the settlers were West Africans and essentially Ghanaians. More than 2 million men, ladies, and youngsters were affected. This is a piece of a common episode in West Africa, where foreigners are ousted for different reasons. Instances of such orders inside West African nations remember expulsions from Ghana of Nigerians for 1954, Cote d’Ivoire extradition of Togolese, Dahomeyans, and Nigerians in 1958, and expelling of outsiders (generally Nigerians) from Ghana in 1969.
Over 1 Million Ghanaians and other west Africans have been stricken by the order. These Migrants have been in most cases drawn to Nigeria because of the oil market of the ’70s, but in 1983 while the “Ghana Must Go” revolution started, the economy had weakened and changed into rapid falling apart. It becomes additionally the election year.
In this way, Let Us Consider the Real Story behind it.
During the 1970s During the Oil Boom Period in Nigeria, a lot of Migrants from Africa came into the Country looking for Jobs and Greener Pasture.
Nigeria resembled the U.S.A, Britain, Germany, South Africa, and so forth of today, that numerous Nigerians are lining up for Visas, to Elope to.
During the Oil Boom Period, there were Jobs that Nigeria’s were Shy Or Reluctant to do.
Such Job incorporates Driver, Cobbler (Shoe creator), Tailoring (Obi-oma), Security Guard, Cook, Gardener, and so forth.
As such, those Immigrants that came to Nigeria were more than ready to carry out those Responsibilities.
In fact, In Lagos at that point, most Cobblers, Tailors, Drivers, and so forth, were Ghanaians.
This equivalent Scenario is what is happening in the greater part of the present Developed Countries that Nigerians and Africans are eloping to.
Most Jobs that are prepared accessible for Migrants are Jobs that the residents of those countries in Europe, America, and so on, are hesitant Or Shy to do.
Before that event, Nigeria and Ghana were good allies and have been maintaining their friendship. Be that as it may, this Friendship was Threatened in the mid-1980s during the system of the Ghanaian Head of State, Flight Lieutenant Jerry J. Rawlings, and the Nigerian President, Shehu Shagari.
Both African leaders were not in good terms and this changed into due to the fact President Shagari turned into a good friend of Ghana former President, Hilla Limann, who Rawlings overthrew his Government. This decayed the Ghana-Nigeria relationship to the degree that in 1982, Rawlings raised a caution that Shehu Shagari needed to help Hilla Limann to Overthrow his Military Government in Ghana. What’s more, accordingly, Nigeria halted the delivery of Crude Oil on an advance arrangement to Ghana. As this hamburger proceeded between the administration, so did it go on among the residents.
The outsiders in Nigeria were genuinely compromising the tranquility of the nation and Nigerians were not prepared to take that. The circumstance started warming up in 1980 when a Cameroonian expatriate named Muhammed Marwa alias Maitastine spearheaded(Maitastine Uprising of 1980) that brought about the loss of lives.
Maitastine was an illicit outsider like a significant number of his adherents who were from Burkina Faso, Niger, and Cameroon. This uprising is viewed as the second most disastrous occasion in Nigeria after the Biafran war. It should likewise be noticed that there had existed an old injury in the Nigeria-Ghana relationship in 1969 when the Ghanaian government affected the Alien’s Compliance Order. Nigerians and other African settlers were exiled on the case that the economy of Ghana was in wretchedness.
The final irritation that will be tolerated that crushed the camel’s spirit was the theft at Ekwueme’s home. Alexander Ekwueme, the then Nigerian Vice President was burglarized by a gathering of outfitted looters which comprised for the most ostracizes. At the point when the burglars were gotten by the police, it was found that two of them were Ghanaian.
This sent the entire of Nigeria insane. Moment move was made by the Nigerian government and the Ministry of Internal Affairs. On the seventeenth of January, 1983, the Nigerian Minister of Internal Affairs, Alhaji Alli Baba, reported the quick removal of every single unlawful migrant in Nigeria inside about fourteen days. President Sheu Shagari additionally included an announcement,
“On the off chance that they don’t leave, they ought to be captured and attempted, and sent back to their homes. Unlawful outsiders under ordinary conditions, ought not to be given any notification at all. On the off chance that you violate a law, at that point, you need to pay for it.”
Frenzy grasped all outsiders without papers in Nigeria for it was the least anticipated activity of the Nigerian government. More than 1 million Ghanaians were tossed into disarray and hesitation. It was reputed that the Federal government offered the capacity to Nigerians to stand up to any outsider after the final proposal given to leave.
This frightened the exiles and sent them escaping with and without their baggage. The individuals who could pack their things utilized the greatest of sacks accessible which happened to be the large pack which is currently alluded to today as Ghana must go.
This mass extradition met worldwide reactions. The demonstration was denounced by numerous philanthropic associations over the globe. The US Department of State said the ejection request was “stunning and an infringement of each believable human right.” All these didn’t make the Nigerian government switch the request. Despite everything set on removing every unlawful outsider in the nation.
Likewise, there were claims that the “defilement perplexed” administration of President Sheu Shagari requested the expelling to redirect consideration from its trickeries because a political decision was imminent. Genuinely, the Shagari government needed to pull a trick to occupy the consideration of Nigerians and win their votes.
Ghanaians trooped out all at once for they realized Nigeria was not, at this point alright for them. It was to be sure of an enormous departure that consequently established its feet throughout the entire existence of Nigeria and Ghana. They (Ghanaians) stayed outdoors at the Seme fringe as they held on to enter the Benin Republic where they would have liked to discover a boat to Ghana.
The land course through Togo was a lot of ideal and helpful yet the Ghanaian tyrant, Jerry J Rawlings had shut the Ghana-Togo outskirt because of an endeavored upset in 1981. Togo additionally shut down its fringe with Benin to keep away from evacuee emergencies. After some time, the Ghanaian military ruler, Jerry Rawlings, opened the Ghana-Togo outskirt and left Togo no decision than to do likewise with the Benin Republic and permit exiles to stream across like water.
It was to be sure incredible news for the Ghanaian exiles. On returning home, they were invited by family members and companions amid tears. Jerry Rawlings additionally visited some of them at Tema harbor and guaranteed them that his legislature would give help with each conceivable way.
This is the genuine severe story behind each ‘Ghana must go’ sack. Be that as it may, it ought to be realized that today, Nigeria and Ghana remain the best of companions as they let the past behind them. This is apparent in the amusement, sports, and governmental issues parts of the two nations.
“History ought not to be utilized as an instrument of vengeance but instead as an apparatus for forestalling future mix-ups.”
But Please Note: Ghana Must Go Saga Only affected ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS, not every Ghanaians.
Sources: NGU Library Collection, Wikipedia, The Rise and Fall of Nigeria’s Second Republic by Toyin Falola and Julius Omozuanvbo Ihonvbere, Aliens Expelled, Africa Research Bulletin, Blackwell, OldNaija,Annechia.com and Abiyamo
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