I thought that by now these anti-Ghana so-called Ghanaians would let sleeping dogs lie over the Aliens Quit Compliance Order that was implemented from 18 November 1969 by the administration of then Prime Minister Prof Kofi Abrefa Busia –May his soul rest in perfect peace. This script is in response to the views and expressions of one Mr Tony Prosper, whose article was pasted on most of Ghanaian-based electronic media. What I gather from the mindset behind his article so written can be seen as attempting to educate readers about how xenophobic, vicious and ill-intended whoever or whatever organisation implemented it and to arrouse ill-feelings against same. Before I even spend time on the intended import of Tony’s script, his level of knowledge and mentality leading into assessing his empathy, if any, towards Ghana and the welfare of Ghanaian citizens, I am hereby presenting historical facts for the attention of all clear-minded true Ghanaians for them to make their own assessment and not be mis-educated by sciolists of the sort of Tony Prosper.
Putting it in its historical perspective the Aliens Compliance Order had internal and external factors which examines the context in which the order was enforced. Relying on both primary and secondary sources, there are even as at today combined factors that make Ghana one of the most preferred migrant and attractive destinations in West Africa. Influx of people to Ghana can be traced back to the beginning of the nineteenth century, climaxing in the 1960s. The colonial government had proposed strict immigration control orders that remained unenforced. The Nkrumah administration introduced immigration measures to control the heavy influx of immigrants into Ghana yet by reason of his championed Organisation of African Unity (OAU) wherefore he held himself out as “father of all Africans” and had declared Ghana as home for all Africans; he couldn’t formulate any reason otherwise to control Ghana’s boarders as required. Ghana’s frontiers were opened to all Africans under President Nkrumah by virtually collapsing immigration checks into Ghana.
Though the NLC regime appreciated the up-surging immigration problem and attempted to remedy the situation, they could not achieve much. When Prof Busia assumed office as Prime Minister, his administration saw the immigration situation incipiently threatening and immediately applied the Aliens Quit Compliance Order that had been prepared and shelved in the archives which caused the deportation of many immigrants in a manner never before attempted. Below is a list of eight factors that were reasoned out as justifiable for implementing the order. Though the manifested benefit imported so far is immense, others, most especially detractors have their own versions of opinion in regard to the Order yet all said and done, what must be borne in mind in regard to the ultimate purpose of the Order remains that ‘Ghana first’.
The government’s desire to reduce the rate of unemployment and remittances from Ghana Combat crime Reduce to manageable levels a guaranteed internal security of the country Compel immigrants to comply with the immigration laws of Ghana Control the growth of the country’s population Ensure cultural homogeneity Clear the streets of mainly immigrant-destitute and beggars Continue the immigration policies of the NLC Everywhere in the world, Ghanaians are known for being xenophiles yet by reason of the Aliens compliance Order, detractors of Prof Busia and his Party and its later generations with being rather xenophobic inclined on their part, a tendency that influenced the government’s decision to issue the expulsion order. Much as there is every objective appreciation that the decision and the Order were strictly enforced, some of the immigrants who made efforts to secure permits were successful, but many were those who failed to and thus, had to leave Ghana rather hastily. In my personal opinion as well as reasoning from the angle of the government, putting Ghana first and for the sake of controlling immigration which had been relaxed for decades, any bid to assuage the situation as it had come to exist did not require any half-hearted approach to worsen rather than ameliorate it. It is also conceded that in some cases, the police and some ordinary citizens went to extremes to exploit the situation so that many of the expellees suffered in many ways, including loss of property and even causing involuntary deaths which indeed were pathetic and a minus to the Order.
Since no benefit comes without at-least some cost, in the immediacy of its implementation, the Order surely created some unavoidable hardships including unintended deaths; it also brought about some remediable ephemeral economic, social and political repercussions as well as marring the country’s foreign relations but these were later repaired because Ghana was poised to win and to win convincingly. It has been claimed by some people in the end, that the government did not fully realise the envisaged objectives for which it issued the Order but only made some modest gains. The honest truth is that the gains were immense; that nothing in the world or the universe will ever perfectly satisfy all persons or creatures. Not even God can satisfy everybody’s aspirations. It is interesting to note that, most level-headed economists and strategists including even me as a lay Ghanaian appreciate the good intentions of the government in acting in the interest of Ghana not-withstanding frowning on the harsh manner in which the implementation was done. Some analysts contend that if the government had been more cautious in executing the decision, it could have realised its objectives to the full yet they have not specified what the government ought to have done by way of being more cautious in the circumstances apart from either delaying or suspending the Order however, the question is: Why should it have been delayed? Why should it have been suspended? What needed doing that wasn’t done and who can tell what could have cropped up in due course to militate against it?
In commenting on and expanding the enumerated bullet points above, migrant remittances from Ghana to especially Nigeria, Lebanon, Syria, India and other European countries had continually been dealing hefty damaging blows to the economy whiles imports of commodities to feed millions of mainly free-loaders surged up. Ghana’s micro-economy by way of petty trading and departmental stores especially, had been dominated and monopolised by all-non-Ghanaians, ostensibly as no-go areas. Most burglary, murder and other crime cases in police records were committed by especially foreigners of Burkina extraction. Many foreigners with unknown mental or criminal records had flocked into Ghana amongst many. From a little over 3,000,000 as at 1952/53 Ghana population had steadily grown to nearly 6,000,000 between 1957 and 1960, surging to about 9,000,000 mainly through immigration at the time of the Aliens Compliance Order with Nigerians alone forming over 20% of Ghana’s population. By reason of reversal of frontier rules due to changes in government and policies, Ghana today houses some 24,000,000 inhabitants; about 37% are non-citizens. Apart from few Ghanaians who are physically challenged and depend on mendicancy for a living, most beggars on the streets of Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi, Tema especially and the major Regional and District capitals are foreigners of Malian origin. To me, the issue of cultural homogeneity as included in the interplay of factors as above is nonsense and does not worth my commenting on at-all.
Ghana today is constantly and alarmingly being invaded by Chinese with intent to colonise. The concern that all well-meaning Ghanaians must consider is the fact that there is a documentary on Al Jazeera television about Chinese released prisoners being shown the route to Ghana as they remain outcasts from China. There is so much of negative acculturation of mostly Nigerian and other foreign origin that is too many to mention here for lack of space. Furthermore, the Aliens Compliance Order made it explicit for immigrants otherwise referred to as aliens to make one of two choices, either to comply with Ghana immigration laws or quit the country. In the process, the police and civilian authorities in the Ministry of Interior who were vested with the powers to implement and enforce and also process compliance applications were accused of infractions. Much as I am neither holding brief for them nor condoning with them, in any country, the authorities choose amongst immigrants who may stay and who must leave. This is what people who wear same lenses like Tony Prosper see and expound without appreciating the huge gains and benefits made so far therefrom. As proof of the economic gains, just visit any market across Ghana and see an all-Ghanaian mostly women market traders; an economic activity once dominated and monopolised by Nigerians. On the High Streets and commercial hobs in our cities and towns, Syrian, Lebanese, Indian etc stores in places like Adum and Roman Hill in Kumasi, Kantamanto in Accra etc, what hither-to used to be foreign-owned are today proudly owned by Ghanaians of all tribes and ethnicity. Remittances from Ghana have reduced to a bare controlled minimum.
Unchecked influx of people has caused the complete annihilation of people and cultures across the world. Notable amongst such affected countries are Malaysia and Singapore where Chinese and Indians have colonised these purely tropical countries in which the indigenes are infuscate-hued. The Aborigines of Australia and New Zealand have been expunged by British dominated immigrant-settlers who control them. The Welsh especially in the UK who are indigenous Gaelic on the British Isle are pushed into a corner by German-origin Anglers now called the English. The Nubians of Egypt etc have been silenced into subjugation and servility by light-skinned Arab invaders taken for original Egyptians. Where are the Red Indians? Readers, Tony Prosper and all who think like him, please bear it in mind that a stitch in time saves nine. Ghana’s gaping socio-economic cleft has been stitched rather on time and is saved by having implemented the Order. It is up to you and the ilk of “neo-Ghanaianists” [my own facetious coinage] to save Ghana from slipping back into Chinese and Nigerian immigrant colonisation. Very soon if unchecked, Chinese population in Ghana through influx and further conjugal multiplication will be twice that of indigenous infuscate-hued Ghanaians that will result in future Chinese immigrant rule in Ghana as it is in Malaysia etc, not to mention that of rodent-type breeding Nigerians. Had Nigerian population in Ghana not been checked in implementing the Order, Ghana would today be an overspill of Nigerian over-populated cities. No African country in modern times is as much tolerant of unchecked surging immigrant population as Ghana. It is a major Ghana weakness which must cease forthwith.
Ghana and Ghanaians owe no apology whatsoever to whoever for the Aliens Quit Compliance Order! Full stop!! If any apology at-all, Nigerians whom we accepted and lived with congenially as brothers, sisters, husbands, wives, Boy/girl friends whereby they found themselves conveniently assimilated into our Ghanaian socio-economic fabric for decades rather need to. We asked them politely to either comply with our immigration laws or go without any malice attached, yet malice inclined Nigerians murdered Ghanaian at the oblique command of President Alhaji Shegu Shagari who had willed retaliation for Ghana’s Aliens Compliance Order. Some Ghanaians were burned alive; many were looted of their belongings; yet today they find themselves flocking back into Ghana where always our arms are open with warmth and welcome. This not-withstanding, many have returned either as bullying armed robbers, improved dirty tricksters or Nigeria style mass exploiters.
These wrong-doers are those who rather need to apologise to Ghanaians for their decades of economic sabotage perpetrated on Ghana with impunity. Ghana is the heritage of Ghanaians and all who think positively Ghanaian in benevolence but not those who wish otherwise. Furthermore, for apologies, the Arab and European/American slave traders who have conceded to inhuman treatment meted on Africans as slaves must be asked to apologise and give generous compensation for the wrong once done. I perceive Prosper and his sort as jeremaiding tribalist “neo-Ghanaianists” who seek to sabotage Ghana and Ghanaians with ingénue propaganda to cheaply score political points. They have tried but can only win the minds of those who lack knowledge and cannot see beyond their nose. Prof Busia and his Progress Party won a true and genuine socio-economic victory for Ghanaians, ‘neo-Ghanaianists’ of some sort have given it a pyrrhic image. People should let sleeping dogs lie or else advance a better well-informed argument with better reasons, if any, to merit condemning the luminous Professor for the Divine-sent Ghana-saving Order and stop publishing lacklustre, sciolous and tastelessly childish propaganda.
By: Adreba Kwaku Abrefa Damoa