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26.03.2004 General News

"We are HIPC Embassy" - Envoy To NUGS

By Heritage
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Members of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS) who are on a four-nation West African tour are stranded in Togo with their destiny only in the hands of the Almighty God.

The students, numbering about 47, had prior to their departure, received full assurances from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the Ghanaian missions in all the countries they would visit (Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Burkina Faso) would take care of them.

However, they had the shock of their lives when the Togo Ambassador, Mr. Kwabena Mensah-Bonsu, told them in plain language that there was no help he could give them and that they should continue their tour to Benin, even though the original plan sent to the Ministry included one night sleep in Togo before departure for Benin.

According to the Ghana Ambassador to Togo, the only letter he had on the visit said the NUGS team would merely pay a courtesy call on him and the Mayor of Lome.

Several consultations for over five hours, with the students pleading to be accommodated for a bath after two days of no bathing before proceeding to Benin next morning fell on deaf ears.

Mr. Mensah-Bonsu refused to bow to their plea and asked them to go to sleep in a hotel. Shocked at receiving such treatment from their Ambassador, the NUGS executives remarked: "If this is the kind of ambassadors we have in all other countries then Ghana is doomed."

The Ambassador then warned them that even in Benin their security was not assured. The students had earlier refused to take drinks presented to them by the Ambassador since, according to them, he had refused to give them water when they visited in the morning.

Meanwhile the trip, which would have lasted 10 days, would have to be cut short.