This young man took to his facebook page to write this:
‘‘My experience today at the #Togo-#Ghana (Aflao) border rendered me thunderstruck. For the first time in all travels abroad, I decided to go by road. The Eleven-hour trip from #Lagos started out rather uneventfully. Some passengers slept off after a few hours, while others preferred to look out and admire the beautiful terrain.
Circumstances transmogrified from normal to crazy when I got to “the Aflao border”. Among the uniformed forces present to check travelers was Mr #AbdulAziz of the Ghana Narcotics Control Board (NCB), who is in charge of Narcotics. From the start, the officer didn’t discharge his duty with a friendly aura. He asked me what I was going to Ghana for and I told him I was visiting a friend. He then asked me how many days I planned to spend in Ghana. “Three days” I plainly replied. He further asked where I would be leaving to and I responded “I hope to travel from Ghana to Europe.”
The officer disdainfully sized me from head to toe, murmured something and said that he didn’t see a visa that would allow me travel to my final destination. I calmly brought out my EU passport and gave it to him. After looking at it, and of course finding no fault in it, he reached for his mobile phone and made to take a photograph of my passport. “No, you cannot do that”, I impulsively protested, “You cannot take a picture of my passport – a delicate document which has no bearing with my visit in Ghana – with your personal mobile phone. Perhaps you can make a photocopy of it with government issued/official equipment, but understand that this proposed action of yours poses a danger to me.” I asked if the Mobile phone was assigned to him by the #NCB for this purpose but he replied that he bought it with his money and communicates with friends and family on the same phone.
At this point, the young man became irate. He insisted that he would do as he wished. I kept wondering why a fellow who was supposed to be concerned about drugs badly wanted to take pictures of my passport for no clear reason despite me pointing out the dangers of doing so with his persona Mobile phone. He made some nasty remarks about Nigeria, and threatened to send me back or lock me up. I was becoming a bit annoyed. I requested to see his superior. “I am in charge here”, he boasted. “But there must be someone superior to you; someone I can complain to if I am not satisfied with your services.” He then wrote down his full name, telephone number and position, and asked me to go to Accra and ask about him or report if I wanted. I took the paper and made to leave but he called me back.
He then asked me to kneel down. I was surprised, embarrassed, perplexed, confused and mystified all at the same time. I refused to kneel down and demanded to know what crime I had committed. Believe me, the officer hit me severally and forced me down. He continued hitting me, amid my request for an explanation. The harassment was quite baffling. I was still dumbstruck when my friend, a Ghanaian arrived and tried to sort things out. The officer admonished him for speaking up for a Nigerian. After much deliberations with him in their native language, they extorted 100 cedes from him which I was initially unaware of (I have refunded my friend). I was able to collect the paper where the officer’s details were penned down without his knowledge.
In my continued struggle to fathom the rationale behind the discrimination of Nigerians and some other Africans in Europe, Asia and America, the issue of internal discrimination still plays out. Those that follow the News know about the xenophobic attacks in #SouthAfrica which has sent many Nigerians into hiding. This officer, who showed utmost tomfoolery in his dealings with me, has attempted to dent the beautiful image of #Ghanaians who are generally welcoming and sociable. I am sure that many Ghana nationals will condemn this horrible act. If we do not tackle internal hatred and mindless discrimination, I wonder how we hope to deal with external and internal quandaries. If we Africans refuse to see ourselves as brothers, I wonder who will accept us at the global stage.
I have made several attempts to report my ugly incidence to the authorities in Accra without success. I will not stay quiet because I’m convinced that I encountered this for a reason. I would have flown but for some unclear reasons I decided to ride. I will do all that is necessary to make sure this problem is dealt with so that it will not reoccur. I demand an unreserved apology from Mr Abdul Aziz and a refund of the 100 cedes they unlawfully extorted. I will let the NCB/authorities deal with the physical assault aspect.
Brethren, especially my Ghanaian ones, kindly share this until it gets to the relevant authorities. Let us say no #discrimination.’’
Yours truly,
#ObinnaOrgazi


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