Sometime ago, I wrote an article “10 Things Ghanaians know about Nigerians”. That was not an imaginary composition rather a well researched topic. That article has sparked conflict, generated controversy and defiled the historical purpose. It is not surprising since there are unintended consequences to our choices.
Many have waited patiently for a rejoinder from me at least by sharing the Nigerian opinion about Ghanaians. To them such analytical reaction must emanate from the author of the revelation of what who knows about the other.
In no distant time, I will be completing my eight years in Ghana. I have preached here as a missionary, I have lived here as a Masters student, I have done business here, I have married from here, I have given birth to the best children on earth here, a daughter and a son. I love my wife, she is the best any man will have, she is Ghanaian and I am Nigerian, and our kids are Nigerian Ghanaian. I have shared this brief for a purpose that I am as objective as I was when the first was published about Ghana perception of Nigerians. I have spoken well of both countries everywhere I find myself because in my home there is no border between Nigeria and Ghana. In my family just like few others, it is where Ghana and Nigeria reconciled.
The following reflect the true feelings of Nigerians about Ghanaians.
1. Ghanaians Are Peaceful People
One of the striking manifestations a Nigerian notices in his environmental transition in Ghana is the presence of cordial relationship and harmony. How Ghana acquired such peaceful climate? I have no idea. People hardly fight, there is always an amicable way to conflict resolution. The land is blessed with tranquility, Nigerians indeed feel relaxed here than in Nigeria, at least you do not get to worry about kidnappers, or terrorism. Nigerians coming from a background of loud noise- sounds of generator, sounds of sirens, sounds of bomb explosion etc appreciate Ghana’s peace. One thing that contributed so much to the peaceful state of Ghana is the working judiciary system. So nobody takes laws into their hands.
2. Ghanaians Hate Nigerians
One of the orientations that a Nigerian will pass to his new brother in Ghana is to remind him that the people of Ghana do not really love Nigerians. The new entrant having seen one or two signs will concur to that traditional doctrine of enmity. Generally Nigerians in Ghana feel that they genuinely love their host country and do not understand the reason for their hatred towards them. Admiring a Nigerian comedian or movie star or musician or pastor is not same as loving his brothers and sisters resident in Ghana. Chinua Achebe in his personal history of Biafra, the book “There was a country” indicated that Ghana and Nigeria relationship has not always been cooperative. Such historical undertone confirms the feelings both sides nurse in their hearts. Sometimes without taming the feelings, such hatred do manifest in government policies targeting Nigerians and their interest in Ghana. Many Nigerians are insulted and mocked as if Ghana is without sin
3. Ghanaians Worship White People
Present a black man and a white man before a Ghanaian and he will choose the later. Nigerians feel that Ghanaians want to copy everything western. That they tend to bow to a white man more, submit to his ordinances more than to African course. That contrary to what Kwame Nkrumah tried to to achieve with African Unity, his people lean towards the white than the blacks. Looking at this view from another angle, it implies that Ghanaians are not racists, but the danger is that a Ghanaian can sabotage his fellow blacks just to win favor in the eyes of a white man. That such mental weakness and appreciation of ones race as submissive to a superior one is annoying to Nigerians. A Nigerian man is proud of being Nigerian and black, he will promote his culture and not reason with racial inferiority.
4. Ghanaians Obey The Law
Have you ever observed how Ghanaians can be in a queue in a traffic? This is something that baffles Nigerians. A nation that obeys law maintains order. Nigeria is a country where law is designed for the poor. A chaotic society where injustice and corruption is glorified. Nigeria is a nation where the judiciary has failed in using law as a tool for development. Where youths cast doubt as to the reality of the separation of powers of the arms of government. To the Ghanaians, they are not yet fully law abiding but comparable to Nigeria, Ghana has done well. Ghana is not a country where laws are broken without penalty. Ghanaians are conscious of the law, and that even helps Nigerians who reside here. At least they are witnessing what it means to be law abiding and the true effect is that when a Nigerian returns back home, he is more law abiding than before and is naturally inclined to be an activist of justice.
5. Ghanaians Are Pretenders
Not just coming from the lips and heart of Nigerians but the people of Ghana do testify against her own people as pretenders. Ghana has capitalized on that good name in the international community as a good nation and will not dent it, instead they act as if all is well. Nigerians in Ghana have a strong opinion that Ghanaians as mortals are bad like them but hide theirs. This could be a smart strategy to get what they want but it is equally a dangerous thing to deal with a chameleon. Be yourself and let the world know you for who you really are and not what you desire to become. Many youths of Ghana are into Internet scam popularly known as Sakawa, so 419 is not just a Nigeria thing. The debate as to who taught who will be left fair another day.
6. Ghanaians have fair complexioned people
Many Nigerians are surprised to see that Ghana has fair complexioned people. Their original notion is that they are all black skinned, not just dark or brown. To see a fair complexioned person, a Nigerian will first suspect the person to hail from Nigeria. Many white people married black Ghanaians and their offsprings complexion is brighter. That is not the only reason, there are also naturally fair people here but majority of Ghanaians are very dark.
7. Ghanaians Practice True Democratic Party system
In the democratic system of Ghana, a party stands for something. A party manifesto is known, a party’s dogma is in the heart of the followers. If you belong to a political party, you don’t just easily cross carpet. It is almost like a religion, and everyone knows what to expect when a particular party is in power. Party politics is not for convenience, you are born into a party, your family is in a party. Unlike in Nigeria where political parties don’t understand their purpose and the people follow any with the money because no one trusts any party. You can win in any party and decamp later.
8. Ghanaian Landlords Do Cheat
A visit to rent control will reveal that many aggrieved Nigerians have resorted for justice against their mean landlords or, land lady as the case may be. Nigerians feel that because they are foreigners, greedy landlords try to take advantage of them. Many have similar experiences of cheating and deliberate defiance of housing contract.
9. Ghanaian Education System Is Good
Nigerians love Ghana because of their Education system. It is easy to get admission to Ghana universities. If you pass your WAEC, then you can attend as far you can afford the tuition. There is less strike, less exam malpractice, and absence of cultism menace. Nigerians schooling in Ghana schools are countless and can be seen in all levels. A certificate acquired from Ghana is also valued more than those from Nigerian universities.
10. Ghanaian Electricity Is Stable
Comparable to Nigeria where a community pays for transformer or the accessories to connect electricity, Ghana Electricity Company functions. Ghana sees electricity as a source of generating revenue, it is business. Unlike before there used to be steady light for a long time but now the energy crisis has made things a little different. Still the situation in Ghana is better than Nigeria. It is just of late that stabilizers are being sold. Nigerians have vowed to return home once President Good luck Jonathan fixes this electricity problem.
There are of course many things that each nation knows about the other, and it is also true that the ECOWAS treaty is not of full effect. Ghana and Nigeria relationship is not a choice, but destiny. The nature of their relationship is a normal but can improve.
Credits: Chuks Ineh