General News of Tuesday, 29 January 2013
A Takoradi based Social Worker on Monday noted that the International Clergy Association (ICA) posture against the nomination of Nana Oye Lithur as the Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection is based on ignorance.
Dr Isaac Amo-Antwi said: “Nana Oye Lithur has never stated support for the deeds of gays and homosexuality but was defending their human rights… irrespective of their orientation.
“As a human rights advocate, she has over the years defended the rights of all persons including victims of The Gambia atrocities, victims of domestic violence, refugees, gender based violence, prisoners and represented 650 Liberian refugee women and children detained at Kordiabe at the High Court.
“(Nana Oye Lithur) have represented on pro bono basis about 15 remand prisoners habeas corpus and bail applications, set up first ever pro bono lawyers network in Ghana made up of 119 lawyers who are currently handling 104 cases free of charge,” Dr Amo-Antwi told the Ghana News Agency in an interview.
He advised ICA to face the issues of gays and homosexuals by providing solutions to the problem instead of attacking Nana Oye Lithur for defending the rights of Ghanaians.
Dr Amo-Antwi explained that Nana Oye Lithur as a staunch Catholic ascribed to the Catholic faith and position; “She must not be crucified for human rights posture”.
He said: “What is the posture of the ICA on lawyers who defend armed robbers, prostitutes, murderers, and others who engaged in social vices, these are all moral issues.
“Nana has defended and will continue to defend the rights of vulnerable persons whether as Minister or not....including victims of domestic violence, rape and domestic violence cases.”
The ICA in a petitioned to the Appointments Committee of Parliament claimed that the association was not convinced that Nana Oye Lithur is morally fit for the position of Minister of Gender, Children and Social Protection.
Dr Amo-Antwi described the petition as distasteful especially drawing the children of Nana Oye Lithur into the argument.
He said “the action of the ICA is an attack on the innocent children, which is unfortunate”.
He said Nana Oye Lithur over the years has demonstrated her commitment to defend the human rights of all especially the vulnerable and qualifies to occupy the post.
“Nana Oye Lithur has successfully helped to advocate the passage of the Domestic Violence Act; helped to advocate a policy change to include comprehensive abortion care into National Reproductive Health policy and helped to advocate the passage of the Disability Act.
“She successfully advocated the inclusion of family planning onto the National Health Insurance Scheme, played an active role in the advocacy network for a mental health law.”
Dr Amo-Antwi urged the Appointment Committee not to base its decision on emotions and sentimentalities but consider the qualification of the personality.