A Nigerian woman, Stella Ogonna Okpaleke, has committed suicide after her shop was locked up by the authorities of the market where she sold her goods in Ghana.
Recall that last month the shops of some Nigerians were locked up by Ghanaian authorities over their inability to meet strict trading conditions set up by the government. The Ghanaian authority says traders must have one million dollars as minimum foreign investment capital to do business in Ghana as stipulated in its Ministry of Trade and Industry Act, 2013.
The National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTs), Ghana Chapter, disclosed the death of Stella Okpaleke today when the leadership visited the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Foreign Affairs and Diaspora, Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, to seek the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari on the matter.
Nnaji, armed with a petition to Buhari, called for the intervention of the Federal Government over the alleged maltreatment of Nigerian businessmen in Ghana.
“Regrettably on Saturday, Sept. 22, one of our female members, Mrs Stella Ogonna Okpaleke, whose shop has been under lock and key by the Ghana authority committed suicide. She committed suicide based on her shop and that of her husband that were locked. The information we gathered was that when they locked the shop, she lost hope of reopening it. She is from Nnewi Local Government (Area) in Anambra. We actually don’t know how much she owed, but we learnt that she took loan for her business” he said.
Nnaji noted that the harassment on the Nigerian community and traders in Kumasi, Ghana by authorities in the country, is so severe and unbecoming.
“It is unfortunate that she decided to take her own life,” Nnaji said and called on Buhari to urgently intervene to avert similar incidents in the future.
Responding to his comments, Dabiri-Erewa expressed the Federal Government’s condolences to the union and the family of the deceased. She appealed to members of the union to remain calm and assured them that the president would intervene in their case to ensure a lasting solution to the problem.
“I am just going to start by appealing to you, I know it is painful, it is emotional, it is deep but I just urge you to remain calm. I appeal to you to remain calm and may the soul of Stella rest in perfect peace. When she is about to be buried, let us know so that we may send our condolence message to the family,” she said.