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NPP makes a bizarre U-turn on Gitmo 2 and the hypocrisy is stunning


Shocked will not begin to describe how I felt about the NPP’s sudden about-turn, the abrupt reversal of its position on the two former Guatanmo detainees. I was floored by the stunning hypocrisy. Talk about eating crow.

After all, wasn’t this the party that two years ago, in a fit of juvenile vituperation, shamelessly and vociferously oppose former president John Mahama’s decision to offer a home to the former detainees — Muhammed Dhubby and Muhammed Atef — who, it must be emphatically stated, had been detained unlawfully for 14 long years by the United States on charges of terrorism.  It is worth noting that the two men were never charged with any crime.

Seeing an opening to score cheap political points, the NPP struck a combative tone. It did not let Mahama off the hook;  in fact, aided by its surrogates in the media and one particular loud-mouth lawyer in Accra, the party assailed, harassed and poured scorn on the former president for daring to bring terrorists into Ghana.

You should have heard them screaming and voicing their grossly misplaced concerns about national security, sovereignty and a whole lot of political mumbo-jumbo.

“The two men were dangerous elements and posed an existential threat to Ghana and should be sent back to Guantanmo base where they belong,” the NPP and its loud supporters said time and time again. The party could not see beyond this mantra. They sadly, had lost their humanity.

Despite counter arguments that the two former Gitmo detainees were, to all intents and purposes, innocent men who were caught up in the war on terror and so should be offered a place in Ghana they could call home, the NPP and its allies were unfazed.

They ultimately accused Mr. Mahama of breaching the 1992 constitution, specifically, article 75, for not consulting with parliament and getting a ratification.

Subsequently, two  enterprising NPP supporters sued the government and hoped the Supreme Court would force Mahama to reverse his decision.

Undeterred, Mahama stuck to his guns and the two former Guatanamo detainees settled in Ghana and have not unleashed the much dreaded mayhem the NPP had feared.

To their credit, the two men have kept to themselves, living their lives in obscurity putting to the lie all the claims the NPP had peddled.

Last week the Supreme Court obliged the two NPP suitors with a decision that was reactionary, dripped with political overtones and bound to reopen old wounds. What the justices didn’t foresee was the conundrum their 6-1 decision would throw the NPP, now the ruling party, into.

Why the sudden reversal? Let us just say the NPP has realized that governance in today’s globalized, cooperative world requires tact and high minded diplomacy. If you are in opposition, you can say anything and literally escape in one piece. But once you are put in charge of a country, you must choose your words carefully; diplomacy matters.

The shameful backpedaling we have just witnessed is symptomatic of a party that rushes into key decisions without much thought. In the midst of this u-turn and hypocrisy, who stands vindicated? Mahama, of course. He was the one brave politician who took abuse and downright hostility from a then opposition party to do what was morally right and diplomatically astute.

Extending a helping hand to two men who were considered undesirables by their own country was an excellent example of humanity at work….what is wrong with assisting another human when the rest of the world is unwelcoming and hostile?

The loser here is the NPP which exploited the ignorance and naivety of the ordinary Ghanaian to advance a narrative that was built entirely of fear and political expediency. The time is ripe for Ghanaians to take a long, hard look at the two parties and see which of them has their interests at heart.



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