General News of Saturday, 21 January 2017
The former National Democratic Congress (NDC) legislator for North Dayi says the President failed to ensure the security of Ghanaians in The Gambia during the recent stalemate in the West African country.
George Loh criticised President Nana Akufo-Addo for authorising troops to support the ECOWAS forces instead of issuing an order, for instance, for the Ghanaian forces to secure Ghana Town – a resettlement that is predominantly made up of Ghanaians.
The President approved the deployment of a combat team of 205 Ghanaian troops and logistical equipment to The Gambia.
The move was in support of an ECOWAS mission to quell a possible attempt by incumbent President Yahya Jammeh to use force to deny President-elect Adama Barrow from taking over the government.
However, Mr Loh criticised the move by President Akufo-Addo saying at the second asking should have been concerned with the interests and safety of Ghana. He says considering the handling of alleged murder of about 40 Ghanaians in The Gambia under bizarre circumstances in 2005, the President should have taken the opportunity to right the wrongs.
Although the reported murder is seen as one of the many instances of Yahya Jammeh’s atrocious human rights record, many have blamed Nana Akufo-Addo for not doing enough to bring closure to the matter.
Commenting on the recent political deadlock in The Gambia on JOYNEWS/MultiTV’s news analysis programme Newsfile on Saturday, Mr Loh resuscitated the matter of the death of the Ghanaians, reiterating the concerns raised in 2005.
“I was really worried because for the second time I thought that the President had the opportunity to prove that when The Gambia is concerned [he] will get right this time,” he said.
However, when it was pointed to him that the President could not have sent Ghanaian troops to secure citizens in another country, Mr Loh maintained that the President’s order should have taken cognizance of Ghanaian lives in the country.
But the Dean of the Faculty of Law of the Central University, Professor Ken Attafuah, defended the President’s order.
“There is no legal basis for the contention that President Akufo-Addo erred in committing troops,” he said.
He explained that the President was acting within the framework of the ECOWAS protocol.
According to him, the decision by the President to send troops to bolster the ECOWAS mission was inherently a move to secure the safety of Ghanaians.