General News of Friday, 13 October 2017
The Minority in Parliament has urged the government to investigate the claim by Libyan authorities that some Ghanaians are engaged in the activities of the so-called Islamic State (IS) in Libya.
It asked the government to involve the Committees on Energy, Interior and Foreign Affairs in the investigation.
Addressing a press conference in Accra last Tuesday, the Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee of Parliament, Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, said the investigations were needed to clarify the issue, assure Ghanaians of their security and protect the country’s reputation in the eyes of the international community.
Mr Ablakwa said the Minority in Parliament had obtained and studied the report of a special inquiry commissioned by the Attorney General of Libya after the recent NATO backed liberation of Sirte from the so-called Islamic State(IS) also known as Daesh.
“We have taken keen interest in this report because Ghana is mentioned a number of times and in ways that it would not be in our collective strategic interest to ignore,” he said.
Mr Ablakwa said the outcome of the inquiry conducted by the Attorney General of Libya’s office was no longer classified information, and indicated that the key findings had already been presented to international journalists who were present at the 28th September, 2017 press conference in Tripoli.
Therefore, he said, “being silent or playing the ostrich cannot be a responsible approach given the circumstances.”
Mr Ablakwa said the Minority had decided to limit the information it would make public on the issue in order to avoid creating panic among the Ghanaian citizenry.
“This is what is done by responsible members of the legislature everywhere in the world and it is this principle that guides us in this present context,” he said.
Majority ‘faults’ Minority
The Majority in Parliament condemned the Minority for going public with the information on the alleged involvement of Ghanaians in IS activities in Libya.
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Mr Frank Annoh-Dompreh, told journalists that the claim by the Libyan authorities was yet to be proven.
He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had commenced investigations into the matter to establish the truth or otherwise.
Therefore, Mr Annoh-Dompreh said it was wrong for the Minority to hold a press conference to speak on it, since it could create fear and panic among Ghanaians.
Rather, he said, the Minority should have reported the information to the security agencies, since it bordered on the country’s national security.