Kwesi Pratt Jnr
‘These are due to the difficulties in the countryGovernment needs to put the right measures in place so that conditions in the country will change. The problem is not the lie they (asylum seekers) told; the problem is; what are the conditions (in the country) that led them to say those things and how do we solve it.’
The above remarks were made by the Managing Editor of theInsight newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jr., in relation to news making the rounds both locally and internationally that about 200 Ghanaians are attempting to seek Asylum in Brazil.
Some major international media networks, including the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) have reported that hundreds of Ghanaians who entered Brazil as tourists to watch the World Cup games have asked for asylum.
According to the asylum seekers, they are fleeing tribal and religious conflict in the country.
Several Ghanaians who heard the news have described their action as unpatriotic, but according to the Insight Editor, ‘it is not about being patriotic because they cannot sit in the country and die out of hunger’.
Kwesi Pratt described the issue on Peace FM‘s ‘Kokrokoo‘ Friday as a very sad one but blamed it on the current difficulties facing the country.
‘As long as the condition in the country does not get better, people will seek asylum elsewhere. For as long as there is unemployment especially for the youth, they will continue to go out. The problems is our situation; our economic and social conditionsit is very embarrassing but this situation (in the country) can change; it is not everlasting’ he said.
The ace journalist however noted that this is not the first time ‘people are seeking asylum out of the country.
According to him, ‘it is a very sad situation but I think the number mentioned is even more than that. In many of the cities, other supporters are stranded because they missed their flight’
‘I am sure Brazil government will investigate before granting them asylum. If not, they will be repatriated or the Ghana Embassy in Brazil will look for money and bring them back to the countrythe excuse they used however has put the country in a bad light,’ he pointed out.
Meanwhile, Government has directed its Embassy in Brazil to liaise with authorities there to delve into the issue
A statement signed by Deputy Minister of Information, Felix Kwakye Ofosu, indicated that government is conducting investigations into the matter. According to him, it is not true that there are conflicts in the country and so government needs to find out why they made up those lies and the next step of action.
‘Government states for the record that the basis for this alleged request is completely false as no religious conflict is taking place in Ghana,’ government stated.
‘It is also worthy to note that Ghana is one of the most stable and peaceful countries not just in the West African sub-region but also on the African continent’.
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