The Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa says the move by Nigeria to close its borders to neighbouring countries is a “clear indication of identity crises”.
He said the closure of borders by African countries does not give meaning to the 400 years of slavery suffered by Africans.
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa called on African leaders to ensure that all borders that hinder easy movement of Africans within the continent are eliminated to enable member states unify for development.
He made this comments at a durbar in Accra organised by the Christ Oasis Minsteries for a group of African Americans in the country for the Year of Return.
It was a night of rich cultural display through drama and dance as the Christ Oasis Ministry bid farewell to a group of African Americans who were in the country for the ‘Year of Return’.
The 5 member delegation from the Cornerstone Missionary Baptist church based in the United States, had spent their week’s visit to Ghana visiting Cape Coast and Elmina castles as well as the Du Bois Center among others.
The leader of the group Dr. Stephen Howard shared experiences of African Americans living in the states.
“In America we live in fear….your blackness is a reminder that you don’t belong there….Whenever we see the police our heart skips a beat. The safest place on earth for us (African Americans) is here in Africa.”
Okudzeto Ablakwa who is the Member of Parliament, (MP) for North Tongu said the closure of the Nigerian border will not solve any problem.
“We think that the solution to our problem is to be closing borders as the Ghana Union of Traders Association GUTA is closing down the shops of Nigerians, why should we be doing that……this commemoration of 400 years of slavery will be meaningless and useless if Africa does not change course”.
Head pastor of the Christ Oasis Minsteries Rev Elvis Eben-Baffour said his church will collaborate with government for some humanitarian projects.
“We want to extend a hand to the need and we would like to partner as many that are willing to partner with us to help aleviate poverty in the country”.
The returnees were grateful for the kindness and hospitality they witnessed during their stay and promised to come back soon.
Story by Nathaniel Nartey.