Ghana’s infamous Guests
Ghanaians woke up early January 2016 to the shock and surprise of their lives: the government announced that it had brought in two former detainees of Guantanamo Bay as its guests for the next two years. The arrangements and agreements between Ghana and the US were shrouded in secrecy in much the same way the former detainees landed on the shores of Ghana. President Mahama in a press conference to defend his decision invoked the passion and religiosity of the Ghanaian people. We think this is unfortunate.
Ghanaian hospitality is known throughout the world. To therefore prey on their sensibility and sensitivity through religion is a cheap shot. President John Dramani Mahama is not a political fool and would not rush into taking such a decision: a decision that his quondam interior minister and current foreign minister were not privy to. In fact he is savvy at it. We therefore believe that the president has a motive – a political one as it were in an election year.
Ghanaians know that the November 7 elections would be very contentious. Each and every decision government takes, especially under the guise of humanitarianism must be received with caution. The Gitmo duo may bring the government of Ghana what it anticipates, but it could become an albatross on the neck of Ghanaians if we they don’t tread with caution. Already some US Senators are attempting to tie its foreign aid to Ghana to the security of the former detainees.
If the duo decides to continue their stay in Ghana after the two years, they could develop some untoward tendencies against American interests using Ghana as a base. If Ghana deports them, it could be construed by their supporters and fanatics as a betrayal of throwing them under the bus, and they could hit back at Ghana.
President Mahama, we think for his parochial interests, has stirred the hornet’s nest. He’s opened a can of worms that has the potential to invite terror into a hitherto peaceful Ghana.