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2 Gitmo Detainees At Minister’s Vetting   
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Dominic Aduna Bingab Nitiwul
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Dominic Aduna Bingab Nitiwul, Minister-designate of Defence, has said that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo – then leader of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) – last year did not want to invite trouble for Ghanaians on the matter involving the two Guantanamo Bay detainees.

The NPP had raised issues about the then National Democratic Congress (NDC) government’s resolve to keep the two freed detainees in Ghana. The party lambasted the Mahama administration for allowing Al-Qaeda suspects into the country, as their presence threatened the security of the state.

“Ghanaian people may well have been spared the disquieting anxiety, in this time of justifiably heightened fear of global terrorism, that we are being led by a president who, ostensibly in the name of compassion, prefers to ignore laws designed to defend the most sensitive area of all, our nation’s security,” Nana Addo had said.

Mr Nitiwul, a management consultant Member of Parliament for Bimbila, who turns 40 on November 4, told the Appointments Committee of Parliament – before which he appeared for vetting last week – that Nana Akufo-Addo took that position so as not to invite trouble for Ghana and put herself on the terrorist map in that particular period.

“If you have a very peaceful country, what many people would not want to do is to invite trouble to themselves and that’s why I think that at the time his Excellency the President Nana Addo Akufo-Addo made that statement. He made it in the light that there was no need to invite trouble for us to put ourselves on the terrorist map in that particular period when Ghana didn’t need to do that,” he explained.

Mr Nitiwul said government would consider a number of factors, including intelligence on the ground, before making a definite decision on the two former Gitmo detainees.

He said, “We have done one year now; intelligence will change; the situation will change. As we sit today, the government at that time analysed intelligence and took a decision. It is the same way this government is going to analyse all the intelligence related to this particular people and take a decision.

“As I sit now, intelligence will lead us as to the best way the government will take the decision regarding this particular thing.”

This was in response to a question he was asked by the committee as to whether he would advise President Akufo-Addo to return the two Yemenis as demanded prior to his election as the President of Ghana.

The nominee indicated that the matter was subjudice and was therefore constrained to answer. However, he tried to give what he called a skeletal response as he explained that he was not privy to the latest intelligence.

On the situation in The Gambia regarding its presidential election brouhaha, Mr Nitiwul announced that the Government of Ghana was ready to evacuate her citizens from The Gambia in any worst-case scenario.

He said the Ghana Armed Forces had put all the necessary measures in place to evacuate the about 50,000 Ghanaians – most of who are fisher folks – either by air or sea to their homeland.

He added, “I’m not … able to tell you publicly the steps that are being taken to evacuate our civilians, but I can say for a fact that enough preparations have been made to ensure that in the event that we need to evacuate any Ghanaian, we will do that.”

Prior to committing 205 combat Ghanaian soldiers to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) troops to help oust Yahaya Jammeh of The Gambia (who had been defeated in a general election) from power and also ensure a peaceful environment in The Gambia, the Government of Ghana came under severe fire for not prioritizing the evacuation of its citizens in the wake of that country’s political crisis.
Source: GNA

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