The newest episode in Ghana’s comedy is the GITMO 2, which has been unfolding ever since the erstwhile John Dramani Mahama, decided to accept the two Guantanamo Bay detainees on humanitarian grounds.
The public anger and uproar that greeted their arrival flew in the face of a description given to Ghanaians for being receptive and accommodating.
The gesture for inexplicable reasons is just refusing to go away, with the minority in parliament resurrecting a dead issue. The issue is back on the front burner because the minority, demanded of the government to come clean on what it turns to do with the GITMO Two, after the initial agreement to host them for two years, had expired.
The minority, had rather gone to resurrect a ghost and we are being hunted, when the matter could have been allowed to die a natural death.
We have turned everything into politics in this country; the minority’s call was based on the objections the New Patriotic Party (NPP) raised about the GITMO 2 detainees when they were in opposition. So it was like a case of tit for tat, we are going round in circles on an issue that should have been left to its fate.
The two detainees, who according to reports were victims of circumstance, have behaved and lived up to expectation, since they arrived in this country. The existence is not a threat to anyone, they are not occupying a space that was reserved for Ghanaians, yet we can’t just get it that, they are here to stay.
As we continue to figure out whether the thread is in the needle or the needle in the thread in Ghana, the two have resettled and are adding their quota to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of this country, as I understand one has registered a business.
I hope we are one of the countries Donald Trump had in mind when he wondered why US lawmakers were seeking protection for “all these people from shithole countries”.
If we are then, he could not be further from the truth, because instead of spending time to discuss how we are going to move Ghana beyond aid, as envisage by the president, we spend valuable time, discussing GITMO 2. How will GITMO 2, ensure that next year, when the Immigration Service sets out to recruit young Ghanaians, we will not have 85,000, of them queuing for 500 available space.
This country has enough talkers already; we need thinkers and innovators, to help redeem the dream of our founding fathers.
We lost our way, when a group of overzealous soldiers and their collaborators overthrew the first president, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, ever since; we have been tiptoeing, with no end in sight.
We had another opportunity when we ushered in the fourth republican dispensation; unfortunately the only thing we have perfected is the freedom of speech. We can talk all day, as long as it does not infringe on someone else’s right.
The time has come for a paradigm shift, we need more action than talking. We cannot continue on this tangent and expect a miracle, the world doesn’t work like that, that is why the good Book, tells us that, heaven helps those who help themselves.
Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby and Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef are now our collective responsibility, regardless of which political party is in power. What are we also going to get out of them, as we provide them safe haven, is the question we should be asking ourselves.
In our diversity, we will see things differently, but that is so, so that we arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement. These two gentlemen, should not occupy our mind for the next three years.
If this will make for any consolation, Ghana was not the only country in Africa that accepted the Guantanamo Bay detainees, 13 were sent to Morocco, Somalia a war ravaged country had 3, Libya 2, Tunisia 2, Mauritania 2., Egypt, as well Chad, also took some of them in.
Ghana is the only country that is debating the propriety and impropriety of accepting the detainees. We have our citizens scattered across the world. You can find Ghanaians in the smallest of country, seeking for greener pastures and some even seeking for asylum, how do we expect them to be treated, when we are still holding onto a matter that, has long been decided upon.
Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby and Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef, were never tried, they were never charged, and they were never convicted, so they are not even ex-convict.
Ghanaians must make a value judgment: do we need to keep the GITMO 2 in Ghana, in the fulfillment of many treaties we have signed or do we need to find countries, which are ready to host them?
From all that I have heard and read, the United States of America (USA) is off the table, America is not an option, and so although, they were the responsibility of the US, before we took them in, they cannot be sent back there.
The most ridiculous of all the pronouncements I have heard is that, the government is working to find a country to host them. It is said that, what is good for the goose, is equally good for the gander. If Ghana finds them unfit to be here, how do we expect another country to host them?
We are better than this, going round in circles and coming back to the same point is not the best way to build a nation. We need to redefine our priorities, if unproductive talking and bickering develops a nation, Ghana, will be the best country on earth.
These guys arrived in the country in 2016 and two years later, we are still asking how they got here?