Minority kicks against National Security investigation into visa scandal

Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu,National Chief Imam

Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu,National Chief Imam

MINORITY lawmakers are kicking against the invitation by the Ministry of Youth and Sports for National Security to investigate the visa fraud scandal that has hit a section of Ghana’s contingent to the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

 

According to the caucus, the decision by government to fall on National Security to unravel circumstances surrounding the visa racketeering debacle is an attempt to “cover up” the incident.

 

In a statement, the Minority said the visa scandal has “lowered Ghana’s image abroad and brought considerable shame to our good name as widely reported by the international press and must be investigated by an independent commission of enquiry pursuant to Article 278 of the Constitution of Ghana.”

 

Signed by Alhaji A.B.A. Fuseini, Minority Spokesperson on Communication, the statement said constituting an independent body to investigate the scandal was the only way by which the Akufo-Addo government can be accorded any credit by the local and international community to be genuinely concerned about fighting the numerous cases of corruption in his government.

 

“Ghanaians have not and cannot forget how the National Security was used in a clumsy effort to cover up the Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation (BOST) Contaminated Fuel Saga only a few months back.

 

“Our demand and that of many Ghanaians is that President Akufo-Addo must immediately halt this National Security charade and appoint credible persons with the requisite expertise to conduct a public enquiry into this matter”, the Minority demanded.

 

The overwhelming expectations of Ghanaians, in the view of the Minority lawmakers, following the scandal that has injured the reputation of Ghanaian journalists, are that “who are the public officials involved in this racket, who are their collaborators, how deep is the rot and if there is any ministerial complicity especially at the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration.”

 

Taking note of Ghana’s “abysmal” performance so far at the games, the Minority said while other countries were focused on preparing their athletes to lift high the flags of their respective countries, “our officials were busily recruiting fake journalists in a shameful unpatriotic money-making scam.”

 

Making an appeal to President Akufo-Addo to exercise “good leadership and salvage what is left of Ghana’s sinking image abroad”, the statement said a national security report on this matter would be “discredited and shall not be well received by the local and international community.”

 

The scandal, the Minority said, is likely to have an effect on genuine visa applicants to tournaments of this nature in the future.

 

“The world is watching us. Let’s do the right thing, Mr President,” the statement entreated.

 

Ghana once again attracted the global headlines when at least 50 ‘fake’ journalists were deported from Australia for riding on the back of the games to acquire Australian visas.

 

The recent development is reminiscent of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil where players rebelled against management resulting in the ostracisation on two players from camp over their salary disagreements.

 

The money, US$3 million, was, however, flown from Ghana in a chartered flight to the South American country as the incident grabbed global headlines.

 

Apart from the player-management issues, at least 200 Ghanaians requested asylum in Brazil claiming they were fleeing from a non-existent inter-religious conflict.

BY JULIUS YAO PETETSI

 

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