Ghanaians expected President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to have expressed the sentiments of the people regarding homosexuality when he met the Vice President of the United States of America Kamala Harris, Bawku Central Member of Parliament, Mahama Ayariga has said.
Mr Ayarga said the president could have used the occasion to make known to the US Vice President the actual feeling of Ghanaians regarding homosexuality, which is an outright rejection of the practice but he did not do that.
Speaking on the Key Points on TV3 Satiurfay April 1, he said “The issues relating to the president and the Vice President of the US, I think the concern of a lot of people is that they expected the president to be upfront to the Vice President of US when she brought the matter up and just indicate to her that the people of my country are against this practice, straight forward, so that she knows the sentiment of Ghanains.”
President Akufo-Addo dissociated from the Proper Human Sexual Rights & Ghanaian Family Values Bill also known as the Ant-Gay Bill.
Proposed under a Private Members' Bill, the anti-gay bill is expected to criminalise some of the activities of homosexuals in Ghana.
Answering a question put to him at the Jubilee House on Monday, March 27 when US Vice President Kamala Harris called on him, President Akufo-Addo confirmed that the bill is currently before Parliament, which will decide on it, but most of its provisions are being fine-tuned.
“It hasn't been passed, so the statement that there is legislation in Ghana to that effect is not accurate,” he said.
“Parliament is dealing with it and at the end of the process, I will come in,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo welcomed US Vice President Harris to the seat of government as part the latter's three-day visit to the country.
She stressed how strongly she feels about the importance of supporting and fighting for the cause of human rights including rights of LGBTQs.
“For the American press who are here, you know that a great deal of work in my career has been to address human rights issues, equality issues across the globe including as well as the LGBTQ community and I feel very strongly about the importance of supporting freedom and supporting and fighting for quality among all people.”
President Akufo-Addo and Kamala Harris suffered flak from one of the sponsors of the Bill who is also Member of Parliament of Ningo Prampram Samuel Nartey George.
Sam George said Madam Harris should be the last person to talk about human rights issues because violations of human rights are rife in her home country.
Speaking on the Big Issue on TV3 Tuesday, March 28, he said “Kamala Harris is not the SI Unit for Human rights. She is actually one of the last people in the world who should be talking about human rights.
“As Vice President of the United States, she comes from a country where human rights abuses are rife. In fact, barely two hours after she finished making those comments that she was interested in human rights, in her own country a 28-year-old woman walked into a school building and killed three children and teachers.
“I believe that a Vice President who has been elected and is concerned about human rights should be concerned about the children in school that they should be able to have a decent education without fearing that indiscriminate gun violence will end their lives. Gun violence is a human rights issue. hs has not been able to deal with those issues.”
He also said President Akufo-Addo goofed.
“First, I thought President Akufo-Addo would have used this opportunity to send a clear message to the world and the country that his fidelity is to the Ghanaian people. Based on the 1992 Constitution that he swore an oath to uphold, he would have sent a clear message that Ghana is not going to entertain any expressions of homosexuality.
“Second, it was known that this would be a topic and I expected that he would have shown he was on top of his brief. On the two points, President Akufo-Addo goofed and failed.
“The President doesn't know what he is talking about, the Bill has not substantially changed, the Bill remains as tough and as rigid as it was. The focus of the Bill has not changed, and the objective has not changed.”