22 January 2016

Ghana: Guantanamo Affair - U.S. Envoy Hinted Nana - but Not Prez Mahama - Akomea

The Communication Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea, has expressed shock over the continuous claim by the government and its assigns that Nana Akufo-Addo was consulted six months before the Guantanamo detainees were flown into the country.

According to him, though he had already debunked that claim, people were mischievously lending credence to it.

Speaking to The Chronicle in Accra yesterday, Nana Akomea said the National Democratic Congress (NDC) government had never consulted or spoken to Nana Addo on this matter, contrary to the falsehood being peddled on the airwaves, and that it was rather the US Embassy in Accra that hinted Nana Addo, a day to the arrival of the detainees.

"It is the Second in Command at the American Embassy in Accra who met with Nana Addo two weeks ago, on the 5th of January 2016, a day before the detainees arrived in Ghana, and informed him about the agreement between the Americans and President Mahama to settle the detainees in Ghana, and wanted the support of the NPP.

"Nana was surprised it was rather the American gov't, and not the Ghanaian government, that will approach him. He, nevertheless, brought the issue to the Steering Committee meeting on Monday January 11th, 2016. The meeting decided not to support the settlement of the detainees in Ghana. A party statement to that effect was agreed to and duly authorised. Nana Addo duly conveyed this decision to the American officials on the 13th of January.

"The NDC's contention that Nana Addo was part of the decision is, therefore, a pathetic spin which will achieve nothing. How information on a national issue, not from the NDC government but from American officials, can be equated to consultation and agreement shows the huge desperation the NDC finds itself in. Even senior cabinet ministers (Foreign Affairs and Interior) who are also members of the National Security Council, have confessed they were not fully briefed on the matter, ditto the Attorney General.

"It must be stressed that the decision by President Mahama to accept the detainees is hugely unpopular. It has been described as lacking 'commonsense' by the Catholic bishops in Ghana. It also contravenes the law in Ghana, particularly, the Anti-Terrorism Act, section 15. It is a unilateral act by President Mahama, as neither Parliament, the Cabinet nor the National Security Council were briefed (the ministers for foreign affairs and interior are members of the National Security Council," Nana Akomea noted.

President Mahama, he continued, also told the nation that he had consulted widely before deciding to accept the Guantanamo detainees. But his own senior ministers of Foreign Affairs and Interior have said even they were not fully briefed on the matter.

"Now these ministers are not only senior CABINET ministers, but are also MEMBERS OF THE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL (Article 83 clause 1 of the national constitution). It is clear that neither Cabinet nor the National Security Council was fully briefed on this matter. Neither was Parliament. So who did President Mahama do these "wide consultations" with, Nana Akufo-Addo?

"This non-consultation with Ghanaians is in line with President Mahama 's assertion that he will take criticism and be accountable to only from ex-Presidents Rawlings and Kufuor."

The Director of Communication pleaded with Ghanaians to accept that Nana Addo's position the detainees issue had nothing to do with religion, and that it is not a Christians versus Moslems issue. "It is a matter of the President breaking the law, not consulting enough, and not acting in the best interest of the country, and causing financial loss, since the tax payer's money would be used to cater for the detainees, as announced on the recent TV interview with the US Consular Officer.

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