Posted on: www.dailyguideghana.com
By William Yaw Owusu
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
New Patriotic Party (NPP) presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has broken his silence on the controversial decision by the Mahama-led NDC government to accept suspected hardcore terrorists from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Ghanaian soil, describing the decision as ‘failure of leadership.’
“The problem we face is yet another case of failure of leadership by the president and is hard example of his belief that he is answerable to no one, not even to the laws of the Republic,” he fired.
Nana Akufo-Addo’s rejection of the settling of the suspected terrorists in Ghana has been supported by the flagbearer of the People’s National Convention (PNC), Dr Edward Mahama, who says it was bad for President Mahama to host the two former Guantanamo detainees in the country.
Nana Akufo-Addo was paying tribute at the funeral of the late Alhaji Alhassan Bin Salih, a former member of the Council of State during the Kufuor regime, in Wa yesterday.
“I am certain that if Alhaji Bin Salih were around today, he would be horrified about some of the careless language being employed by some in the discussions on the resettlement in our country of former Guantanamo Bay detainees,” he said.
According to the NPP flagbearer, President John Mahama breached Ghana’s anti-terrorism laws by agreeing with the United States government to host the two former detainees - Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby - who have been described as the foot soldiers of Osama Bin Laden’s Al-Qaeda group.
Nana Addo said Section 35 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 2008 (Act 762) prohibits the transaction into which President Mahama entered with the United States government and described the president’s action as “lawlessness in the highest levels of the state,” adding that it could not “produce good governance.”
“Since he claimed that only Presidents Rawlings and Kufuor have the right to criticise him, I would have wished that he had found them worthy and consulted those our two former leaders before he took this grave decision that has consequences for us all.
“If he had done so, the Ghanaian people may have all been spared the disquiet and anxiety in this time of justifiably heightened fear of global terrorism...,” he said.
He described Alhaji Bin Salih as a personality who “stood not just for the NPP, but stood and fought for the peace and integrity of Ghana,” saying, “He believed in religious tolerance.”
The PNC leader, Dr Edward Mahama, said he would have rejected the suspected terrorists if he were in the president’s position.
“Edward Mahama would not have brought the Guantanamo Bay people at this time because we are going into an election with a disputed voter register; we have seen within the parties incidents of violence and then you bring in people with violence. I think it is a wrong move.”
He argued that President Mahama had broken Ghana’s 60-year record of being non-aligned to any super power and that “by this one act, we have aligned ourselves to America,” exposing the country to unanticipated threats.
“We were non-aligned when there was a bipolar world - Russia and America. We were non-aligned when there was a uni-polar when America alone was the super power. Now we have Russia, China and America. I don’t think we should have taken this step,” Dr Mahama stated.
Several religious bodies, including the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, have expressed disgust at the hosting of the Al-Qaeda terrorists from Guantanamo Bay.
The Catholic Bishops, who have threatened to stage a demonstration over the reckless action, have described the decision as “wrong and dangerous.”
“We, the members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference, have received news of the transfer of two former Guantanamo Bay prisoners, namely, Mahmoud Omar Mohammed Bin Atef (36 years) and Khalid Shayk Mohammed (34 years) to Ghana with great distress and sadness and wish to call on our government to act responsibly and in the interest of the nation by sending these men back to wherever they came from,” the Bishops said.