Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul has called on the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to apologize to Ghanaians for hiding the decision to grant the former Guantanamo Bay detainees a refugee status.
“Until [Wednesday], nobody in Ghana including [the Speaker of Parliament] knew the NDC government has actually granted refugee status to the two Guantanamo Bay dDetainees and have shifted the goal post.”
He said talks about moving them are not possible as the former NDC government had already moved them from ordinary suspects to refugees “and we cannot just throw them away”.
He was speaking after the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, had presented a statement on the current state of the two Yemenis.
‘This pretense must stop’
The Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, was surprised the government after having been in power for one year, does not yet know that the two terrorist suspects have been granted refugee status.
“How safe are we?” he quizzed.
He told the Foreign Minister on the floor of the House that if she thinks the two do not deserve to be refugees, then she should act in accordance with the Refugees Actl of 1992.
“The [refugees] board may withdraw the recognition of where the board considers that there are reasonable grounds for believing that a person who has been recognized as refugee should not have been given the status.”
The Tamale South MP challenged the government to invoke the law “and do what is appropriate”.
“This pretense must stop,” he added.
The Ranking Member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, on the other hand, said he was glad the statement was read by the Foreign Affairs Minister.
He was, however, suprised that it had to take the Interior Ministry to alert the Foreign Affairs Ministry of the refugee status of the two Yemenis.
He was happy that the Foreign Minister comfirmed the detainees have been of good behavior.
He said their side is willing to collaborate with the government in finding a lasting solution to the situation.
Owoahene Omari Acheampong|3news.com|Ghana