As Ghanaians continue to protest against the transfer of two ex-Guantanamo detainees into the country, the Foreign Affairs Minister, Hanna Tetteh in defense to several accusing fingers being pointed at her direction, has disclosed she was not part of some of the details surrounding the transfer.
According to her, the decision was taken by president John Mahama in consultation with some security chiefs. Speaking to an Accra based radio station 3FM, Hanna Tetteh said at some point of the discussion, she had to be excused.
We all are well aware that the arrival into Ghana of Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby has triggered lots of controversy in the country, with the government trying to convince the people to accept her decision on the matter.
Government and its spokespersons have boldly defended the decision to bring the two into Ghana but major stakeholders including the Christian Council, and other pressure groups have kicked against it.
Questions have been raised about why the president did not consult Parliament before taking the decision. Pressure Group, OccupyGhana has also threatened to go court on the matter but the Foreign Minister insists government ‘s decision to accept the two ex-Gitmo prisoners is very right in all sense.
We have an executive presidency. Once it became a matter that was effectively a national security decision, it was within the purview of his Excellency the president to take that decision as to whether we will accept them. The decision as taken is not illegal.” she said
Explaining why Ghanaians were not informed about the arrival, she said the discussions were purely a national security issue, some of which went beyond Foreign Affairs.
At the time the discussions were on going, especially because at that point in time it no longer was a Foreign Affairs discussion, it was a national security discussion. There were some of those discussions i was not privy to,” she added.
When her attention was drawn to the 2007 leaked US Department of Defense document which suggested that the two detainees were high risk terrorists, the Foreign Minister said that document was not part of the document given to the government of Ghana and that she saw it Facebook .
Those were the documents that I have seen floating around on Social media, and are not part of the documentations that was made available to us for which reason I referred it back to the US embassy.
They are going to respond to it.
That document was not made available to us at the time we were making our assessment,” she said, adding she would not comment on that document.
Meanwhile, the fact remains that the two former prisoners of Guantanamo Bay are already enjoying their stay in Ghana, and there are very little or no chances of them being sent back.