Govt to analyse GITMO report – Nitiwul

Dominic Nitiwul,Defence Minister-designate

Dominic Nitiwul,Defence Minister-designate

The New Patriotic Party (NPP) government will  analyse intelligence reports before a decision is taken on the two ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees in the country, the Defence Minister-designate, Dominic Nitiwul has said.

This appears to be a milder position on the two by the NPP as against what the party said about the duo, Muhammad Bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby, citizens of Yemen, while in opposition.

Ghana was among 65 countries in the world to accept the ex detainees who were accused of acts of terrorism as the US prepared to shut down the base after almost 15 years of existence.

The NPP, then led by Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in opposition, lashed out at the then Johm Mahama led government of exposing Ghana to terror attacks and argued that the two ex-suspects should not have been permitted into the country.

“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 said at the time.

But appearing before the Appointments Committee in Accra on Friday, Mr. Nutiwul said intelligence and other factors will be taken into consideration before a definite decision is taken on the two.

He said President Akufo-Addo’s earlier position was informed by how the admission of the two could put Ghana on the terrorist map at a time Ghana’s neighbours were being attacked.

“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 the President 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 said after one year on enduring the two ex-detainees, intelligence might have changed which might have changed the situation.

“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” he stated.

Touching on the proposed increment in the daily allowance of Ghanains on peace-keeping operations, Mr. Nitiwul said the Akufo-Addo led government was committed to increasing the stipend to 35 dollars from 31.

He also promised to investigate what appeared to be an “inherent bias” in the recruitment process into the military towards a certain group of people.

Mr. Nitiwul, who is also law maker for Bimbilla said government would invest in cyber warfare to ward off any cyber attack that may be targeted at the country.

By Julius Yao Petetsi

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