Why Do Ghanaians Hate Nigeria?

Nigeria and Ghana are both thriving countries in West Africa. They both share some cultures which make it easier for citizens of each country to relate and even live together.

Why Do Ghanaians Hate Nigeria?

It’s not really hatred, it’s just a slight conflict on issues that are not even that important. Even though there was hate back in the ’80s when undocumented Ghanaians were forced out of Nigeria, however, gone are those days. Now, lots of Ghanaians have no hate towards Nigerians and vice versa. Here are some of the reasons they have conflicts sometimes.

1. Ghana must go

This is the popular name given to the eviction and migration of illegal migrants from Nigeria by the presidential executive order in 1983. The majority of the immigrants were Ghanaians.

This executive order mandating immigrants without proper immigration documents to leave Nigeria was issued by Sheu Shagari, in January 1983. The immigrants had to leave the country or else according to the law they will be arrested. This order was in response to the religious disturbances that had happened in Nigeria in 1980 and 1981.

It is estimated that over 2 million men, women, and children were affected by the expulsion. One million of them were Ghanaians while the other million were from other West African countries. Most of these Ghanaians came to Nigeria because of the 1970s oil boom, however, by 1983 the Nigerian economy had already weakened.

This wasn’t the first time immigrants expulsion had occurred in West Africa, however, this particular migration process was hell for the emigrants.

The primary route that the Ghanaians will take home was westward, and they will pass through Benin and Togo. However, the previous year, some soldiers attempted a coup, so the Ghanaian president had to close the mainland crossing with Togo. To avoid the influx of Ghanaian returnees, Togo also shut its borders with Benin. When the returnees reached Benin, they were no way to enter the country but to remain at the Port of Cotonou. After being stranded for more than one week, the closed borders were reopened for Ghanaians to return home.

This caused hatred between both countries but their relationship has improved since then. However, most that experienced the migration might still abhor hate towards Nigeria, this might be why some Ghanaians do not want Nigerians in their country.

2. Stigmatization

In almost all countries worldwide, Nigeria is believed to be the hub of crimes. This is due to the popularity of African prince scams which some Nigerians use to scam unsuspecting Europeans, as well as money transfer fraud, among others.

Nigerians are also known to be a bit pushy when it comes to making money. They’re willing to do anything and take any step necessary just to make money, and sometimes it involves inculcating bad business practices. This has made some Ghanaians tag Nigerian traders as corrupt and criminal ones.

3. Football rivalry

Football is one of the most popular sports in the world, and it is one whose fans are very sentimental, especially during a loss. The Ghanaian football team and Nigeria football team are some of the few African teams that usually make it to the world cup. Even though each country has its national teams in the world cup, they always look out for which team outplays the other.

Another conflict that occurs is during the African nations cup. Nigeria’s national team has been the winner for quite some time, and somehow this tends to infuriate the Ghanaians, and when Nigeria is having a bad time during the competition but Ghanaians are performing well, Nigerians tend to be hostile as well.

Looking at their rivalry on football matters, it’s understandable because it’s an issue worldwide. Football fans all over the world tend to annoy their opposition just for the fun of it.

4. Jollof rice issue

This is another cause of the conflict between both countries. Fighting over which country’s delicacy taste better might seem like a baseless reason for fighting, but this is not the case between both countries because they always want to come out as victors in any situation.

The fight on which country has the better jollof rice delicacy usually takes place on Twitter. The fight usually shifts from which jollof rice tastes better to other issues, such as comparing the economic status of each country, likeability around the world, and the standard of living. Blows below the belt are also thrown, such as taunting celebrities or politicians from each country.


Even though most believe Nigeria and Ghana hate themselves, this isn’t entirely true. What happens most times is a difference in opinion, which is very healthy. Many Nigerians and Ghanians live in each other countries and you’ll seldom hear of any quarrel between them.

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