National Women’s organizer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Otiko Afisa Djaba has called on President John Dramani Mahama to come public and apologise to the people of Ghana for ‘importing’ into the country, two ex-detainees of the Guantanamo Bay prisons.
The NPP women’s organizer speaking on Angel TV on Monday said the President needed to apologise to Ghanaians for failing to protect the sovereignty of the nation.
“Ghana is a sovereign country, why should we suffer because of the manifesto promise of Obama…he must come forward and apologise to the people of Ghana…,” she said.
Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, who were held at Guantanamo Bay for 14 years for alleged acts of terrorism, are already in the country and will be hosted for two years, as part of a deal reached between the governments of the United States and Ghana.
President John Mahama has explained that the nation chose to host the ex-detainees for humanitarian reasons.
“We must also look at the side of compassion. I am a Christian, and the Bible teaches us to be compassionate to prisoners… that is even persons who have been convicted, these people were not convicted and so where is our Christian passion or where is our faith based compassion on people that after being detained for 14 years without trial, we cannot find it in our hearts to give these people at least a chance to re-start their lives, and so there has been no consideration received for accepting these detainees.”
But various persons and groups from various sectors of the country including the Christian Council of Ghana and the Catholic Bishops Conference have spoken against the sole decision of the government to bring the duo into the country.
The President of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Most Rev Joseph Osei Bonsu, has dismissed the President’s call for compassion on the Ex-Gitmo detainees, insisting that compassion needs to be balanced with common sense.
“The argument for compassion here does not hold. Certainly the bible talks about compassion. We need to be compassionate to people and so on but compassion goes with common sense as well.”
But Otiko thinks the President erred and needs to come public and apologise for accepting the Gitmo 2 into the country.
She argued that the argument that the Gitmo 2 pose ‘low risk’ to the country’s security is neither here nor there as according to her, they are ‘very dangerous’.
Otiko also condemned US President, Barrack Obama for ‘convincing’ President Mahama to accept the duo since it amounts to ‘neo-colonialism’.
“Why should Ghana suffer because of the manifesto promise of Obama…he as a first black man President of America must be ashamed of this decision…it amounts to neo-colonialism,” she added.
She further entreated Ghanaians to ‘pay particular attention to the work of the constitutional review committee’ to know what powers would be given to the President of the republic.
But the NDC MP for Atebubu-Amanten, Sanja Nanja rebutted her arguments adding that the President acted in accordance with the constitution.