Highlights Disinterest In Fight Against Terrorism
The Embassy of the United States of America (USA) last Friday, welcomed an ex-CIA officer, Robert Porter Jackson, to take over from Gene Cretz as its Ambassador to Ghana, but it was on the same day that, the country’s largest opposition political party, chose to openly indicate that, it would not have partnered the Americans in the global fight against terrorism, if it were in power.
The Communications Director of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Nana Akomea, announced that the party’s flagbearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, would have turned down a request by the United States for Ghana to host two former detainees of Guantanamo Bay in the country, if he were President of Ghana.
The NPP posture, has left many asking, what is the party’s position on the fight against terrorism.
John Mahama, has in the last two to three years, been in the forefront of the fight against terrorism, including holding a number of ECOWAS conferences in Ghana and Nigeria, towards formulating strategies to wipe out the marauding Boko Haram terrorist group, who are behind millions of deaths and kidnappings in Nigeria, Chad and Cameroon.
However, the decision by the Mahama-led government to host two suspected terrorists from the American military facility in Guantanamo Bay – Cuba, has been criticized by NPP elements, including pastors, despite assurances by the US government that the two pose no risk to Ghana.
Nana Akomea, also desperately sought to push ex-President, John Agyekum Kufuor, who enjoys good relations with the Americans, into the debate on the alleged terrorist issue.
The forebears of the NPP, have had a history of collaboration with the Americans part of which led to the overthrow of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah in the early 1960s.
Indeed, a book entitled J.F.K.: Ordeal in Africa by Richard H. Mahoney, details the effective collaboration between Akufo-Addo’s uncle, Dr. J.B Danquah’s subversive activities, leading to the overthrow of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah.
But speaking on Citi FM’s Point Blank segment of Eyewitness News, Nana Akomea said, “the government of Kufuor wouldn’t have taken these people in at all in the first place. Government of Nana Akufo-Addo would not have taken them in. His reason will be the same reason that Ghanaians have given. If America won’t, why do we want to take the things America doesn’t want. Are we a dumping ground?”
When the sit-in host of Eyewitness News, Umaru Sanda, probed further and questioned why Nana Addo, has been silent on the matter, Nana Akomea, said the flagbearer was solidly behind a statement issued by the party on the matter.
He insisted that, “do you think the NPP would issue a statement if the flagbearer disagrees with it? It’s not going to happen. How can the party issue a statement that he doesn’t agree with? We will not issue a statement that he is against it. He may still speak but essentially what the party has said is what he stands by. The party has spoken,” he added.
The U.S President, Barack Obama, in November last year, swore-in Robert Porter Jackson as the new Ambassador to Ghana.
Ambassador Jackson, has served as the U.S. Department of State’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs since October 2013. From 2010 to 2013, he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon.
He will assume his full duties upon presentation of his letter of credentials to President, John Dramani Mahama.
Ambassador Jackson, has served as the U.S. Department of State’s Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs since October 2013. From 2010 to 2013 he was the U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Cameroon.
Ambassador Jackson’s previous overseas assignments include:
• Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Rabat, Morocco
• Deputy Chief of Mission and Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Dakar, Senegal
• Political/Economic Counselor, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire
• Political-Military Officer, Lisbon, Portugal
• Chief of the Political Section, Harare, Zimbabwe
• Political/Economic Officer in Bujumbura, Burundi
• Consular/Economic Officer in Montreal, Canada
He has also served in Washington, D.C., as the Director of the Office for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy; as the Country Officer for Zimbabwe, Botswana and Nigeria; and as the Coordinator of the Entry-Level Officer Training Program and Deputy Director of the Orientation Division at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute.
Prior to joining the U.S. Foreign Service in 1982, Ambassador Jackson taught French and English as a foreign language at the Institute Montana in Zugerberg, Switzerland.
He had previously taught English and American Civilization at the University of Clermont in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Ambassador Jackson earned his M.S. in National Resource Strategy from National Defense University, his M.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and his B.A. in Government and Legal Studies from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Ambassador Jackson speaks French and Portuguese.
He will assume his full duties upon presentation of his letter of credentials to President Mahama.