Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Dr. Aning is not qualified for asylum

The only place Dr. Emmanuel Kwesi Aning might be considered for asylum is the Gulf states, where women have no place in the running of certain aspects of state and obviously in Afghanistan where women under the Taliban don’t even have a place in the police service let alone rise through the ranks.

I have not had as much fun laughing as I did on April 20. Ghana has had its share of ‘political jokers.’ From Alhaji Inusah to Josiah Aryeh, Richard Anane (who, as Ghana’s health minister went to an HIV conference and had sex without a condom) to Alan Kyeremanteng, we have had a series of politicians who made themselves figures of national joke. But I do not recall any non-aligned individual making a joke of himself as our own Dr. Kwesi Aning.

According to media reports, the security luminary from the Kofi Anan International Peace Keeping Centre says he is not ruling out going into exile. His reason - ostensibly to claim benefits and free National Health Service as an asylum seeker; well not quite but Dr. Aning wants to go into exile because he claims his life has been threatened by persons who are not happy with his comments about the conduct of the northern region minister of Ghana, S.S. Nayina.

Ghana doesn’t have a history of politicians being killed after death threats from unknown or known opponents. This is not to suggest he should not take a death threat seriously. People in politics have been threatened in recent times. There have been so many death threats in the past and would be in the future as long as cowards and pranksters could hide behind phones or computers. It is nothing new, what is new is someone going into exile because of what I might call a prank phone call or text message. So he wants to seek sanctuary in Europe or America where he could become another number in the books.

He’s likely to in Denmark where he had his PhD or the US where he worked as a senior consultant to the UN Department of Political affairs. Dr. Aning has been very critical in the past and I expected he would keep it up. But it looks like his most recent comments about S.S.Nayina and the forcefulness with which he criticised him ridicules the sincerity of his criticism, especially when he wants to become a refugee. Even Morgan Tsvangirai and the leadership of Zimbabwe’s opposition are staying put and slugging it out with uncle Bob.

Taking into consideration Dr. Aning’s most recent comments, the plausible conclusion one could draw is that, he is attempting to inveigle himself to the Akuffo Addo team, in anticipation of a reward just in the unlikely event of Nana Addo getting the nod to be Ghana’s leader in future elections. I have said in an earlier article titled “Dr. Aning is losing it” and published on April 18 (www.modernghana.com), that Dr. Kwesi Aning is losing it, but I think he has lost it.

The state is not after Dr. Aning. So what is his problem going into exile? It is the most embarrassing thing to do – apologies to genuine asylum seekers.

An asylee or asylum seeker, by the 1951 UN Convention Relating to The Status of a Refugee and its 1967 protocol is a person “who is outside his or her country of nationality (or place of habitual residence if stateless) who, owing to a fear of persecution on account of a protected ground, is unable or unwilling to avail himself of the protection of the state. Protected grounds include race, nationality, religion, political opinion and membership of a particular social group.”

Where is the’’ well-founded fear that if he stayed in Ghana he would be persecuted?” By the UN convention and EU Convention on Human Rights, he does not qualify for asylum anywhere in Europe or America. We are talking about a man who in the 21st century still thinks certain jobs are best reserved for men. He doesn’t belief in the principles of human rights. He claims a woman cannot be head of the Ghana Police Service. This is certainly a man who would kick against any attempt to make a woman president of Ghana.

What did Dr. Aning say when elements in the opposition New Patriotic Party made claims that changing John Kufour’s armor-plate cars could pose a security risk? He said behold, John Kufour was not under any security threat and that his life was safer without armor- plate cars. Dr. Aning said "The genuine threat both to President Mills, the sitting president, and to President Kufuor is not whether they have amour-plated cars; it’s as to whether they can fulfil the dreams and aspirations of ordinary Ghanaians. If they don’t, no amount of amour-plated vehicles can save them.”

Why does he think some suicide bombers will kill him or corner him and give him hot slaps for his sins? This is a man who just a couple of days before he hinted about going into exile congratulated the Professor Mills led government for improving security; a gentleman who believes the security threat to our nation is the drug menace and surely not pranksters. He was quoted in a recent Daily Graphic editorial as “commending the Mills Administration for taking positive steps to address the narcotics menace”. The editorial quotes him as lauding the appointment of Assistant Commissioner of Police Robert Ayalingo as the Head of the Narcotics Control Board (NACOB) and described it as “most appropriate”.

So for all we know, it could even be the cocaine traffickers who are threatening him and using the S.S. Nayina incident as smokescreen or the judiciary whom he blames as a part of the reason for the increased rate of drugs smuggling during the previous regime.

Let us not forget he has blamed the security agencies for not having the skills to fight drugs; the judiciary for what in his words “thwarted the zeal and ability of the security agencies to combat drug trafficking.” So where lays his case that the state is persecuting him for which reason he wants to go into exile. He cannot go to any embassy and say a private citizen has threatened him so he wants asylum.
His attempts to dent the image of Ghana would not wash. His efforts to discredit the ruling government would fail because some of us would be very ruthless in exposing such hypocrisies. The image of our country is far my important than any persons selfish interest and any selfseeking individual who wants to unjustifiably sully the image of Ghana must be exposed for what they are worth.

He has just embarrassed himself and the best thing for him to do from now on is to shut up and lick his self inflicted words. He just shredded his credibility and intelligence. Like the people who betrayed Kwame Nkrumah and the rest of our heroes, the likes of Dr. Aning would sell Ghana like some of his Danquah/Busia friends for an European or American passport.

Ras Mubarak

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