Where are the Catholic Bishops?

……Parliament’s Ratification of Gitmo 2

-Samson Ahi demands apology to Prez Mahama 

Hon. Sampson Ahi, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for the Constituency Bodi in the Western Region, has charged the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference (GCBC) to render an unqualified apology to former President John Dramani Mahama for their “Compassion goes with commonsense” statement over the Gitmo 2 stay in the country.

According to him, the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference was reported to have stated that they do not feel comfortable with the presence of the two Gitmos in the country and at the time demanded their immediate deportation.

The Catholic Bishops’ Conference at the time dismissed the call by then President of Ghana, John Mahama, for compassion for the two Gitmo ex-detainees, insisting that compassion needs to be balanced with commonsense.

“The argument for compassion here does not hold. Certainly the bible talks about compassion. We need to be compassionate to people and so on, but compassion goes with commonsense, as well,” Rev. Bishop Osei Bonsu, spokesman for the conference, reportedly, said in an interview.

President Mahama at the time called on Ghanaians to show compassion to the two cleared terrorism-suspects, who had been held for 14 years in America’s notorious prison at Guantanamo Bay.

The former President was however chastised by a section of Ghanaians, mainly NPP gurus and followers, for showing compassion to the two victims of unlawful imprisonment for 14 years.

The case was subsequently sent to the Supreme Court of Ghana by two private Ghanaians, seeking the apex court to determine the fate of the ex-detainees’ stay in the country.

The Supreme Court, in June, this year, ruled that the Attorney General ensure that the agreement upon which the two Gitmo ex-detainees were accepted in the country be sent to parliament for ratification or otherwise they be sent back within three months after the ruling.

As a result, Parliament, under the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), ratified the agreement between the Government of Ghana and the Government of United States of America, indicating that the two are not terrorists and therefore will stay till their agreement period of two years expires.

However, speaking on the ratification matter on an Accra-based private radio station, Okayfm, last Friday, Mr. Ahi said the Catholic Bishops’ silence on the issue further exposed their hypocrisy, as they treated former President Mahama with the highest disrespect for granting the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees clemency in the country in 2015.

Mr. Ahi took a swipe at the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for failing to speak about the latest development and questioned if they (Catholic Bishops’ Conference) now feel safe with the continuous stay of the two ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees in the country.

“Where is the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference? Where is Rev Bishop Osei Bonsu,? And are they now comfortable with the continuous stay in Ghana of the GITMO 2? Is the Al-Qaeda no longer coming? Is the ISIS not going to attack us? Will Ghana not become Boko Haram?” The Bodi MP hollered.

He argued that, “the people of Ghana deserve to know what our Catholic Bishops and Rev. Bishop Osei Bonsu, who told us that one does not have to be compassionate to a fellow human being, whether that person even sinned or not, and has reformed, now think of the present situation.”

Mr. Ahi said, for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, representing a large Christian community, and in clear defiance of the teachings of Christ and the principles of the Roman Catholic Church, it was strange to see them wage a campaign of hatred, dislike, and enmity against two fellow humans, insisting that those two cannot and must not be allowed to stay in Ghana.

“That Bishop Bonsu insulted President Mahama that he has no commonsense, the President has no commonsense, if not he would not have allowed the two Gitmos to stay in Ghana, all these were said. But now the NPP has gone to parliament and ratified their continued stay in Ghana. So I am asking, is that Bishop, Bishop Osei Bonsu, is he still in Ghana? Why is he now quiet, or he feels saved now?” Mr. Ahi fired.

He added that, the Bishops that supposed to be neutral, by their work and position, used the Gitmo 2 matter and denigrated ex- President Mahama as then sitting President of the Republic and feel no shame up to today, stressing that the Rev Bishop Osei Bonsu, whom has suddenly developed mute voice on the matter, ought to render an unqualified apology to Mr. John Mahama and the good people of Ghana.

The former Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, under Mahama administration, said the Catholic Bishops, the Christian Council and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) joined forces as a political tool against the then NDC government, in line with the campaign of the then opposition, New Patriotic Party.

He pointed out that, today, the then opposition now government in power, is telling us (the rest of Ghanaians) that there is nothing wrong with the Gitmos staying in Ghana, which, in his view, smacks of hypocrisy and political selective justice.

“Where is the Catholic Church in Ghana? Why are they silent? Do they also find it proper to have the GITMO 2 to remain in Ghana now? I guess some of us can understand their decision to remain silent on a number of issues, they hate seeing NDC in government,” he added.

The Catholic Bishop Conference, Mr. Ahi further argued, should know that, as leadership, they are required to be decorous in their language, as Christ exemplified even when, as the only begotten son of God, he had come to die on the Cross to save mankind.

He also warned the Catholic Bishops’ Conference to desist from the politics of discrimination where dangerous events that happen in this country, like vigilante groups attacking innocent Ghanaians and even law courts, are not spoken about, but are quick to naively talk about issues like the Gitmo 2 presence in the country.

The NDC MP added that, “all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God and so anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished.”

He therefore called on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference to openly apologise to the former president of Ghana and henceforth have respect for state authority.

 

 

Soruce: therepublicnewsonline.com/Felix Engsalige Nyaaba

 

The Republic News Online

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