The combination of a tense political atmosphere and the Boko Haram insurgency has triggered a notable movement of Nigerians into West African neighbor Ghana. This was revealed to an Accra-based radio station Citi FM by the President of the All Nigerian Community in Ghana, Moses Owaru.
Speaking in an interview Mr. Owaru said even though Ghana is already home to many Nigerians, there has been a notable influx in the past few weeks. He said this can primarily be attributed to a rather fragile security situation prevailing in the country at the moment.
“Nigerians are coming to Ghana; yes I agree that the rate has increased" he said. "The issue of security in Nigeria—Boko Haram—is also making people come to Ghana” he added.
According to him, many Nigerian students also continue to go to Ghana to study especially at the tertiary level.
“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 goes to the polls in February to elect a new leader and legislators. President Goodluck Jonathan is is being challenged by former military Head of State General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd.) in what has been dubbed a two-horse race by many pundits. 2014 was a particularly difficult year for the country in terms of security with the Islamist insurgent group Boko Haram wreaking terror on the populace. With a foiled attempt on General Buhari's life, there seems to be some valid concern for security prompting the supposed exodus.
Ghana, an English speaking country with similar idiosyncrasies as well as a somewhat stable political atmosphere is thus an attractive destination.
Mr. Owaru indicated that most of the migrating Nigerians do not intend to move permanently but "to come to Ghana to stay till the election is over.”
At a time when Nigerian businesses have come under some fire in Ghana, Mr. Owaru said his outfit is organizing programs to offer advisory services to Nigerian citizens living in Ghana. “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.