Opinion: Libyans Could Not Tell the Difference Between Ghanaians and Guineans, Trust Me – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

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Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa

When I first read the report in which the Libyan government was alleged to have claimed that some Ghanaians were being recruited by the ISIS terrorist organization to kidnap people in the Middle-East, I could not stop myself from wondering since when had the Libyans been known to be hospitable to Ghanaian migrants, even during the protracted tenure of their so-called Pan-Africanist President, Col. Muamar El-Gaddhafy, for these Ghanaians to feel comfortable enough to join forces with the deadliest of Arab terrorist organizations against their own people. I mean the Arabs, of course (See “Ablakwa to Face Privileges Committee Over ‘Loose’ Libya Comments” MyJoyOnline.com / Modernghana.com 10/15/17).

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Indeed, there was even a time when the late Libyan dictator and tyrant was widely reported by the New York Times to have demanded some huge sums of money from some European leaders in exchange for stopping the Black African “barbarians” from using his country as a transit point into such southern European countries as Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. But what is even more significant to observe here is that we are not told as to whether the Libyan Attorney-General’s Office, that reportedly made the claim, had provided any concrete evidence to shore up their claim. And if they had, the basis upon which such claim was predicated. I have absolutely no doubt in my mind about the possibility of some misguided fanatical Ghanaian Muslims joining ISIS in furtherance of any quixotic interests and/or objectives that they may have.

But the implicit fact of whether these terror-trucking jihadists have any official approval or sanction and support from the Ghanaian government, as the Libyan Attorney-General seems to be suggesting, is another matter whose diplomatic gravity cannot be underestimated. In all likelihood, the wrongheaded decision of the erstwhile Mahama regime to accept the two Saudi-born Yemeni terror suspects from the United States-run Guantanamo Bay Prison, under President Obama’s tenure, may very well have informed the Libyan government’s report. At any rate, the staging of a press conference by the Minority Spokesman on Foreign Affairs, Mr. Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, to tactically bait the Akufo-Addo Administration into prematurely responding to the Libyan government could not be more seditiously preposterous, fully knowing that even as I write, the rag-tag regime in Libya could not be credibly said to be effectively in control of the affairs of the entirety of that vast, largely desert, country.

Besides, even as the Manhyia-North’s New Patriotic Party’s Member of Parliament, Mr. Collins Owusu-Amankwah, who also doubles as the Deputy Chairman of the Parliamentary Interior and Defense Committee, aptly pointed out, the very first step towards the preparation of a response to the Libyans must entail a thorough investigation of the allegation or report by the country’s security agencies. Indeed, we should under absolutely no circumstances allow the Libyans to arbitrarily and capriciously vent their frustrations on us. As we all know perfectly well, there are even bona fide American nationals who are widely known to be serving with ISIS, and we have yet to hear the Libyans bitterly complaining about the same. My own rather limited but, nevertheless, significant experience with the North-African Arabs is that on any given day, these “fellow Africans” cannot tell the identity of one Black African national apart from another.

By and large, we tend to know and appreciate far more about these largely hostile denizens of the Maghreb than they know and appreciate about us autochthonous Africans. This report ought to be taken with the proverbial pinch of salt. Personally, I wouldn’t go to bed losing a wisp of gray hair over this thoroughgoing Arabian mythology. And I hope President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo does too.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs