In a recent development, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has stepped forward to dispel the confusion surrounding the ban on the iconic “Ghana must go” bags. Contrary to earlier speculations, FAAN clarified through its official channels that the ban was not initiated by them but by Ethiopian Airlines.
The Nigeria airport regulatory agency addressed the issue via its Twitter account, emphasizing that it was Ethiopian Airlines that implemented the ban on the use of “Ghana must go” bags during their flights and not a directive from FAAN or the Nigerian government.
In a series of tweets, FAAN stated, “Kindly note that @flyethiopian issued the ban on the use of Ghana must go on their flights, not FAAN, and not the Nigerian government.”
This clarification comes in response to widespread reports suggesting that FAAN had imposed a ban on the popular bags, urging travellers not to bring them into any airports in the country.
Earlier this week, Ethiopian Airlines, through a circular, informed its customers of the prohibition, stating that travellers are not allowed to use “Ghana must go” bags on any of their flights unless properly packed in a carton or hardcover rectangular container.
The airline justified the restriction, citing the frequent damage caused to conveyor belts at various airports due to the bags. The circular emphasized the importance of cooperation from passengers to ensure the smooth operation of their flights and reduce potential disruptions caused by damaged conveyor belts.
What is Ghana must go?
The Ghana must go bag is a sturdy and affordable bag used for packing belongings.
The bag gained popularity in Nigeria during the 1980s when the Nigerian government deported hundreds of thousands of undocumented West African migrants, most of whom were from Ghana. They hastily packed their belongings into the bag after the Nigerian government gave them a short notice to leave the country, giving the bag its name ‘Ghana must go.
The bag has come a long way, including the ban imposed by KLM and Air France in 2017, citing its ability to alter shape and potentially disrupt their baggage delivery systems.
The ban persists, even though Ghanaian authorities protested at the time, stating it was not only insulting but also a matter of racism and discrimination, as African travellers were the main users of the bag.
The bag is also associated with Nigeria, as corrupt politicians have been known to use it to transport money, especially during elections. It still maintains this reputation, even though most money transfers are now conducted online.
Ghana must go remains popular in West Africa and now comes in different sizes and colours, serving various purposes, including being used as a fashion item or to carry groceries.