On Wednesday, Ghanaian legislator, Fritz Baffour, slammed the government for its handling of the issue concerning the transfer of two former detainees from Guantanamo Bay to the country.
Mr. Baffour who is a member of Parliament for the Ablekuma South constituency and a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) took on the government for not adequately informing and preparing Ghanaians before agreeing to accept the former detainees.
“President Mahama cited moral and compassionate grounds, as well as arcane, diplomatic, and top secret considerations in granting asylum to the men from the Middle East. My take on the matter is that Ghanaians in the main are not happy and my government did not handle the process well, however well intentioned,” he wrote on Facebook.
He added that it behooves the government to seek consensus among Ghanaians in taking such a big decision, noting that the compassion argument is only valid after the necessary security considerations have been factored in.
Mr. Baffour, who is also the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Defense and Interior, further stated, “we heard about the Guantanamo Bay transfer from an outside source, Fox News, who revealed it before our government told us about it. I think the roadmap that was used to reveal what had happened to us was a little flawed.”
President John Mahama met with the press on Tuesday to explain the circumstances under which Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, the two Yemeni nationals who have spent ten years in Guantanamo Bay and are being released by the US government, ended up in Ghana. President Mahama said the two are “low risk” prisoners and were never tried nor formally charged with terrorism. However, Foreign Relations Minister Hanna Tetteh admitted that they were “foot-soldiers” in the Al-Qaeda terrorist group in a radio interview. US sources have also corroborated that the two had been active before their arrests.
The two men are expected to stay in Ghana for two years.