Bush Visit Can Create Hatred For Ghana: Mahamah
Bush Visit Can Create Hatred For Ghana: Mahamah Website
With only a day remaining for the United States of America (USA) President, George Walker Bush to visit this country, diverse views have been expressed by many a Ghanaian on what the American President's visit portends for Ghana. Caught in the fray have been some political pundits who warn that the visit, the second by a sitting American president in 10 years, would be a dangerous legacy that the present NPP Government would be leaving for Ghana. The immediate past President of the United States, Bill Clinton, born William Jefferson Clinton, visited Ghana in March 1998 during the final term of Ghana's immediate past President Jerry John Rawlings. Latest on the political front to rant on President Bush's visit which is just a day away, the Leader and Presidential Candidate for the People's National Convention (PNC), Dr. Edward Nasigri Mahama, who has warned that although the visit can result in strong economic ties between the two countries, it has another deadly consequence for the country. The deadly consequence, according to the PNC Leader, is huge hatred Ghana could attract from the Arab countries after the visit because of the sour relationship between the Arab countries and United States of America. In an exclusive interview with GO last Saturday, Mr. Mahama maintained that the bad relationship between the US and Arab countries is making things difficult for any country perceived to be strongly bonded with the Americans, saying that it is certain for one to go through many difficulties in any Arab country when one is using a US passport. As to whether he would entertain such visit if he were president of Ghana, Mr. Mahama responded that a cursory look at the benefits the country would be deriving from the visit might be immense but it is important to recognise the other side of the visit. He however, added that although he would not stop the visit, the nation should be careful about such visit from the US leader, as security is tightened between the Arabs and the US at all times. Mr Bush and his wife Laura will visit Ghana tomorrow as part of a five-nation African tour to highlight efforts towards economic development. The first American couple and their entourage have already visited Benin, Tanzania and Rwanda, while the other country on President Bush's February l4-21 itinerary is Liberia. . During the visit, President Bush will among others hold discussions with President John Agyekum Kufuor on developmental issues, including the fight against AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Announcing the trip last week, the White House said, Bush would talk with leaders about how the US can help promote democratic reform, respect for human rights, free trade, open investment regimes and economic opportunities across the continent. President Bush made a similar visit to Africa in 2003. "This trip will also be an opportunity for the President to review firsthand, the significant progress since his last visit in 2003 in efforts to increase economic development and fight HIV/AIDS, malaria and other treatable diseases, as a result of the United States robust programmes in these areas," the White House said. But as usual, already Hon. Dramani Mahama, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament for Bole-Bamboi, and the first Deputy Speaker of Parliament and Convention People's Party (CPP) MP for Ellembele, Hon. Freddy Blay, have expressed varied opinions on the visit. Hon. John Mahama has stated that Bush's visit would not pay any dividends to the nation and that this move is meant to redeem his lame duck days. The Bole-Bamboi Legislator, who is tipped to partner Prof. John Evans Atta Mills, maintained that President Bush was only trying to showcase what has been the positive achievements of his Presidency and his assistance to the Developing Countries in Africa. But Hon. Freddy Armah Blay disagreed and noted that Bush's presence would be good and that Ghana stands to benefit tremendously. According to him those making negative comments about Bush's visit might be political Dinosaurs. "Let us look at the positives that Ghana is gaining ground across the world. Let us put our hands together and get the benefits. Yes I know that his visit is not a handshake but it is unfortunate that people are making much interpretation to Bush's coming to Ghana," he said.