Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said that government should have evacuated Ghanaians stranded abroad as soon as the coronavirus pandemic started.
His comment comes after the Information Minister Kojo Oppong Nkrumah announced that some 245 Ghananains based in Kuwait will return to the country after they were deported by the government there.
Kojo Oppong Nkrumah at a press briefing on Friday announced that government will be bringing back some 245 Ghanaians deported by the Kuwait Government because they entered the country illegally.
Although Ghana’s borders have still been closed, the Information Minister announced that the borders will be opened on Saturday, May 21 to allow these deported Ghanaians back home.
Mr. Ablakwa responding to this said government’s general response to calls to return citizens stranded abroad back home has been very poor.
“What is happening now is an embarrassment. We should not have waited for the Kuwaiti government to say ‘hey I have rounded up your guys. We have had enough. Other countries have come for their nationals you are refusing to come for your nationals as for us we’ve rounded them up’,” he told JoyNews.
“I saw the notices of our missions abroad from New York, Washington, London, and other places calling for people who are stranded to send in their names. That was two weeks ago,” he said.
According to the Member of Parliament for the North Tongu constituency, government has been slow towards the process.
Mr. Okudzeto Ablakwa who described the incident as embarrassing said government should have brought back Ghanaian citizens based in Kuwait before they were deported.
“Again look at our level of response; so slow. It’s as if we don’t really want to help. It’s so inept and you see we are in a crisis; people are stranded, people are sleeping rough. The Information Minister confirmed that they are aware that some Ghanaians are really really in a difficult place.
“They are sleeping rough, they’ve run out of hotel bills, they’ve run out of upkeep money and yet we are here. Initially, we didn’t want to evacuate them, then we change our position later – still no definite position.
“So this should serve as a wake-up call and let us reach out to Ghanaians in other countries,” he added.