Feature Article of Saturday, 5 November 2011
Columnist: The Herald
It is becoming increasingly clear that Ghana’s British-trained lawyer, and opposition leader’ Nana Akufo-Addo, will want to remain in the good books of Prime Minister David Cameron, hence his refusal to join the good people of Ghana in publicly condemning the “sodomy for cash” demand from the British government.
As President John Mills continue to receive praise even from abroad for kicking against the “sodomy for cash” demand, Nana Akufo-Addo, who prides himself as liberalist would want to maintain the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) connection with the Conservative Party of Britain, which the 43-year old David Cameron lead as Prime Minister (PM), by being silent to the PM’s call for the observance of gay rights or severance of aid.
What is baffling is that it was the same Nana Addo, who in the heat of the Ivorian crisis hurriedly held a press conference, and in a British-acquired tone, directed President Mills to dispatch the Ghana Armed Forces to fight Ivoirian soldiers and install Alassane D. Ouattara as the legitimate President of Cote D’Ivoire.
Nana Addo, who touts himself as a human rights lawyer, was the founder and first chairperson of the Ghana Committee on Human and People’s Rights.
Political analysts have said that Nana Akufo-Addo’s silence could also be strategic so as to attract cash from Gays and Lesbians Rights groups in the United Kingdom and the United States of America, to fund his cash-strapped party.
He was educated at Lancing College, Sussex, England, and the University of Ghana, Legon, graduating in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Economics degree.
Nana Akufo-Addo trained as a lawyer in England and was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in July 1971 as well as the Ghanaian Bar in July 1975.
He had a stint with Coudert Frères, a major US law firm, as an associate counsel, at its Paris office in France between 1971 and 1975.
A deputy Information Minister, Baba Jamal on Wednesday dared Nana Akufo-Addo to make his position clear on the controversial comment made by the British Prime Minister.
Cameron, in a recent interview on BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, threatened to cut aid to anti-gay countries, declaring that nations receiving British aid should “adhere to proper human rights.”
Cameron said he raised the issue with some of the states involved at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, Australia.
The comments received bitter criticism from Ghanaians, especially religious leaders, who said the British premier lacked understanding of Ghana’s cultural values.
The Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, the Most Reverend Charles Palmer-Buckle, told a local radio that the country must stand up and uphold its values and not allow other countries to manipulate it.
A member of the Chief Imam’s Educational Fund in Ghana, Alhassan Abdulai, also said the Islamic community was appalled by the threats of the British Premier and gave indications that “if push comes to shove,” the Muslim faithful in the nation would stage a demonstration against seeming plans by the British government to legitimize homosexuality in Ghana. On Wednesday, President John Mills added his voice to the groundswell of criticisms, saying Ghana is a sovereign country and cannot be dictated to by anybody.
He said he as president will never preside over a country which will legalise homosexuality.
Mills’ pronouncement has been welcomed by many in the country. His deputy Information Minister, Baba Jamal insists the time has come for the opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo to come out and be heard.
He told Myjoyonline.com that Nana Addo has expressed his opinion on virtually all topical issues in the country and must be heard on this one.
Asked whether it was necessary for Nana Addo to be heard at all, Jamal retorted, “A whole UK Prime Minister threatening and blackmailing Africans and you don’t think the leader of the opposition party must be heard?”
He said it is for Ghanaians to judge if Nana Addo remains dumb on the matter. But a member of the communication team of the NPP said Nana Addo cannot be pressurized into making a public statement on any issue.
Abu Jinapor told Joy News’ Dzifa Bampoh that Nana Addo speaks when he feels like and when it is necessary. He doesn’t speak on an issue because the President has spoken or because Baba Jamal wants him to speak, he added.
He said when David Cameron made his comments, the second deputy Speaker and NPP Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya, Mike Ocquaye was one of the first politicians to speak on the matter. Several others have subsequently spoken on it, he stated, adding Nana Addo is under no pressure at all to comment on the matter.
He said Baba Jamal’s statement have the tendency of politicizing an issue which clearly ought to be considered a national issue.
“For once as a people we must see certain things as national issues. Mills did not speak as leader of the NDC but as president of Ghana,” he noted.
Ex-President John Agyekum Kufuor recently took a swipe at Professor Fred Sai, the man who once served him as the Chairman to the Ghana Aids Commission and HIV/AIDS’ adviser, during his tenure as president.
Mr. Kufuor expressed his disgust in an interview with Hot Fm – kicking against the favouring-view of his former HIV/AIDS’ adviser on the question of legalization of homosexuality in Ghana.
Asked whether he associates himself with comments that homosexuality should be encouraged like, Professor Sai has publicly declared and even called for it to be legalized, ex-President Kufuor vehemently denounced the practice, saying it is an abomination.
According to the former President, he abhors the practice, since it hinders procreation, questioning the reason behind same sex promotion. “With all the attractive women around, why would I go in for my fellow man as my sex-partner?” he questioned.
”God created men and women to mate and procreate, and it is through that we all existed, so same sex practice will end reproduction”, he ascribed, impugning that the practice is un-Godly and would derail reproduction.