Security has been beefed at Suame Magazine in the Ashanti region following a feud between Ghanaian and Nigerian spare part dealers.

The Ghanaian traders want their Nigerian counterparts out of the spare parts-hub – Ghana’s largest – for selling inferior products and illegally dealing in retail business which is the preserve of Ghanaians.

On Tuesday, shops – about 20 of them – belonging to Nigerian traders were allegedly shut down by Ghanaians, who vowed to evict foreigners from the market in a bid to compel authorities to implement laws concerning retail trading in the country.

The Nigerian traders say they have been wrongfully targeted in recent incidences of kidnappings in Ghana and have been prevented from going about their duties since Thursday.

Leaders of the Nigerian Union of Traders Association have denied any of their members’ involvement in the crimes, stressing “Nigerians at Suame Magazine are law-abiding”.

The development resulted in an emergency meeting following which police have decided to increase their presence in the area.

Some of the Nigerian traders were seen removing items from their shops and locking them up

Ashanti regional police PRO, ASP Godwin Ahianyo, in an interview on Joy FM’s Top Story said the Command received complaints of abuse from the Nigerian traders and had begun investigations into it before Tuesday’s incident.

He said although they have been informed about the claims made by the Ghanaian traders against their Nigerian counterparts, their actions will not be condoned.

“As a Command, we told them that there is an institution in charge of those and if they have any concerns, they must channel it to the appropriate quarters.

“The Commander indicated to them that anyone who tries to take the law into their own hands will be dealt with in accordance with the law – regardless of nationality.”

ASP Ahianyo said the police will remain in the area until tempers cool, in order to protect lives and properties.

Meanwhile, both Majority and Minority members of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, have cautioned Ghanaians against what they described as stereotyping their Nigerian counterparts.

Chairman of the Committee, Frank  Annoh-Dompreh said the development was unfortunate and could mar the relationship between both countries.

“We have a certain checkered history between the two countries and we don’t want to dread a repeat. We are appealing to our brothers to live together in harmony,” he said.