The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has added its voice to the call for full disclosure regarding the hosting of two former Guantanamo inmates by the Ghanaian government.
The issue has generated public opprobrium which continues to rage on various forums but with the largest opposition party jumping into the fray, the tempo would receive an added impetus.
A statement signed by the party’s Acting General Secretary, John Buadu, points out that the party shares “in the anxiety of Ghanaians about the resettlement of former terrorists Mahmud Umar Muhammed Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammed Salih Al-Dhuby in Ghana.”
The party is especially concerned that the decision to resettle the two here was made “without any consultation whatsoever with Parliament, political parties and other stakeholders.”
The seeming unilateral decision the government has taken, the statement noted, “raises a number of important questions” such as the foreign policy considerations that went into the decision to resettle the detainees.
The NPP questioned why the agreement was shrouded in secrecy with Parliament not informed, especially since the issue touches on and concerns terrorism and national security.
Government, by the decision, has ignored the relevant provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Act (Act 762) which, as the NPP noted, “clearly frowns on the admission of suspected terrorists into Ghana as contained in Section 35(1) of Act 762.”
The Director of Immigration or an officer authorised by the director, the party recalled, “shall not grant an endorsement or authority to permit a person to enter this country if there is reasonable ground to suspect that the person is, will or has been involved in the commission of a terrorist act.”
Also of concern to the NPP is the fact that “government did not disclose the terms of agreement, nature and full extent of the consideration received in exchange for resettling the detainees.”
“Why is the government hiding the true violent and dangerous profiles of the two detainees, as disclosed in official US Government information portals, from the Ghanaian people?” the NPP is asking.
The government, the NPP has observed, is straining to paint a picture of the two detainees as harmless, misunderstood and wrongly detained persons.
Continuing, the NPP is accusing government of smuggling the detainees into Ghana only to give the impression that they were yet to arrive.
It cannot be in the interest of good governance, the NPP stressed, “that such critical matters should be agreed to by government on the blind side of the people in whose midst these former terrorist detainees are supposed to live. The proverbial Ghanaian hospitality should not be put at such risk.”