TWO KEY suspects are on the run over their supposed involvement in an incident in Kumasi last week when Ghanaian businessmen clashed violently with their Nigerian counterparts engaged in trading activities within the Suame Magazine business enclave.
Meanehile, a joint police/military team is on a lookout for them.
The Ashanti Regional Police Command has said the arrest of the two suspects, would help in the investigations, possible prosecution and restoration of peace between the two factions.
“So far, two names have been mentioned to the police as the mastermind of the attacks and efforts are underway to arrest them”.
This was disclosed by ASP Godwin Ahianyo, the Ashanti Regional Police Public Relations Office (PRO) in a press release.
Suame Magazine had experienced violent scenes in recent times after some locals looted shops of some Nigerians.
ASP Ahianyo also stated that people, who were captured in video during the riots, would be apprehended to face the law.
He said a joint police/military team would patrol Suame Magazine and so he urged Nigerians in the city to return to work.
Suame Magazine industrial business center that habours an estimated 200,000 workers engaged in the sale of vehicle spare parts, metal engineering and workshops for the repair of cars.
Tension between the Nigerians trading in the market and their Ghanaian counterparts reached boiling point and broke into violent clashes last week. The Ghanaian traders had repeatedly complained that the Nigerians were engaged in retail trade in contravention of existing laws.
The vexed Ghanaians cited the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC) Act 865 section 27, which, according to them, forbids, non-Ghanaian traders from engaging in retail trade anywhere in Ghana.
The Nigerian traders, however insisted they had done nothing wrong because, they had they had fulfilled all the legal requirements before operating their businesses.
According to the Nigerian traders they had met minimum capital required for foreigners to engage in retail trade in Ghana, even though they were of the opinion that requirement had been abolished by ECOWAS.
The embattled Nigerian explained further that every single one of them had paid Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Value Added Taxes and also paid the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) contributions for their workers, including several Ghanaian workers and therefore the Ghanaian traders should stop harassing foreign nationals and rather find creative ways of marketing their goods so as to attract customers.
The Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association, Chief Kizito Obiora, has told the media he suspects the involvement of Nigerian nationals in the recent alleged kidnappings in Ghana is what has provoked the attacks on the Nigerian traders.
Chief Kizito Obiora said the attackers have ordered them to close their shops and leave the country to their home Nigeria.