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There is no room for xenophobic attacks– Interior Minister

Bolgatanga, Oct. 3, GNA – The Minister of the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, has called on foreigners in Ghana to abide by the laws of the country and reiterated government’s commitment to ensuring that there is no room for violent xenophobic attacks in the country.
     He said President Akufo-Addo was an African leader who championed both African Union and ECOWAS protocols, “So there is no room for xenophobic violent attacks in this country”.
      Mr Dery advised all foreigners in the country to respect the laws, and charged the security services to be more proactive about foreigners in Ghana, as the law permitted the Immigration Officers to draw the attention of landlords to inquire about the status of foreigners before they grant them accommodation.
     “We expect that the Immigration, Police and other security agencies work together to make sure that we check this. We want to work together, to know where the foreigners are, so that we can also protect them.”
     The Minister, who was addressing the Upper East Regional Security Council in Bolgatanga, when he paid a two-day working visit to the Region to interact with Officials of the security services under the Ministry of the Interior, insisted that foreign nationals in the country had to abide strictly by the laws of Ghana.
     He emphasized that not all foreigners were criminals, “But just like Ghanaians, we have bad nuts among us, we certainly also have bad nuts among foreigners and we insist that Ghana is an attractive destination because we are law abiding, therefore when foreigners come, they should help us maintain that status.”
     The Minister said government had opened the country’s borders in consonance with ECOWAS protocols, and noted that, it was the responsibility of the security services, especially the Ghana Immigration Service to let “the bad guys out and allow law abiding foreigners to come in.”              
     He said the continental free trade centre in Ghana was a vote of confidence for Ghana’s commitment to continental integration and development, hence the country had to work to maintain that status.
      Mr Dery, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Nandom Constituency in the Upper West Region, said if Ghanaian businessmen felt that their foreign counterparts operating in the country were being unfair in their practices, they should resort to the rule of law and due process.
     He said government was working with friendly countries such as Nigeria and other neighbouring countries to maintain good neighbourliness, “The governments of these countries are jointly committed to fighting crime on both sides, and that is why in the unfortunate case of the Takoradi girls, the last suspect was brought from Nigeria.”
      “You do know that recently, a suspect who had killed one of the Ashanti Chiefs was also returned from Burkina Faso and therefore we are working together,” he said.
     He stressed on the need for Ghanaian citizens and residents, especially in the Upper East and Upper West Regions to notify the security agencies whenever they moved into Burkina Faso, to enable them to facilitate collaboration between the two countries to maintain the peace.    
     “Recently there was an armed robbery in the Burkina side of the Upper West Region and there were unfortunate loss of lives. It is important that when you are going through Paga or Kulungungu or any of the borders, you report to the Immigration Officers,” he advised.
     Mr Dery, in the accompany of Mr Henry Quartey, the Deputy Minister of the Interior, and other top officials from the Ministry and the security agencies, later commenced his visits with separate meetings with the Regional Peace Council, the Regional Police and Fire Service Commands.

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