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14.08.2005 Diaspora News

Rest Of Illegal Ghanaians Granted Amnesty Leave Beirut.

Emanuel K. Asiedu [email protected]

Janet Azumah, Yaa Benewah, Lydia Sackey, Yaa Darkowaah and Abdul Rahman Yunis, five (5) of the remaining six (6) illegal Ghanaians granted a special amnesty applied for by His Excellency Mr. Michele Haddad, Honorary Consul General of Ghana to Lebanon in collaboration with the Ghanaian Community in Lebanon left Beirut to Accra yesterday August 13, 2005, bringing the total number of Ghanaians who had so far left Lebanon to Ghana under this special amnesty to seven (7).

Hariya Othman, the eight member of the group, and two others, Vivian Sheaby and Korsah Dansowaah requested for a delay in their process to the end of the month due to some personal implications. In all eleven (11) illegal Ghanaians requested for the favor.

The interim executive committee of the newly revived Ghanaian community which is made up of all the heads of the various Christian communities and their Muslim counterpart as well as others who do not belong to any particular sect have all hailed the success in helping those stranded Ghanaians in returning home to Ghana safely by the joint efforts of the Consulate and the community as a major achievement establishing good understanding, effect of dialog and cordial relationship between the Consulate and the community. Furthermore, it has also given some credibility to the interim executive committee strongly backed and encouraged personally by His Excellency Mr. Michele Haddad, and which since taken effect a year ago after the dissolving of the previous management owing to irregularities and malfunction is yet to prove its capability as an effective body able to steer the community in the right direction.

The Consul General on his part is delighted for having been able to help solved the community's major concern of sending home some of its sick and elderly as well as the critically stranded, however, in a short interview granted by him in the morning prior to the departure of the five (5) returnees, Mr. Michele Haddad stressed on the need for the community to let go of its differences and come together as one people with unity and one aim as the only way of moving forward and achieving better results in all its undertakings.

Asked if they have any comments to make minutes before entering to security areas at the Raffic Hariri International Airport, the exuberant two elderly women, two- middle-aged women and an aging man all said with great courage to the Acting chairman Mr. Albert Atta and some members of the community who were driven to the airport along with the luggage of the returnees in a truck provided by the Consulate to oversee the safe trip of the returnees, “Please extend our gratitude to His Excellency and the office staff, and to all of you whose tireless efforts have brought us this far, and please educate the compatriots to have patient and walk side by side with the Consulate, we're very much impressed by his capability.”

Members of the executive committee who are yet to meet and send an official letter to thank the Consul for his kindness and dedication towards the community is also planning to ask the Ghanaian government for greater support for the Consulate to make it more effective.