Ranking Member on Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, says it looks as if the sins of British High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson’s predecessors are being visited on her.

According to him, it appears as if she is being punished for the indiscretions of some of her predecessors like Jon Benjamin who was notorious for commenting on national issues and even engaging in twitter spats with Ghanaians.

Speaking on JoyNews’ PM Express, Okudzeto Ablakwa noted that the tweet by Harriet Thompson was very innocuous; especially when compared to other tweets issued by other foreign missions in the country in recent times, and thus should not have garnered the kind of attention and hostility it has suffered.

“It appears to me that in this whole brouhaha it reminds me of the biblical phrase of visiting the sins of the fathers on the sons. In this case, when you listen to Professor Aning, when you listen to Professor Antwi-Danso, you listen to other commentators it appears that the backlog, the historical antecedent of the likes of Gray Murray, the likes of Jon Benjamin is what we want to use to visit…

“I mean to be fair to Her Excellency Harriet Thompson, this month is exactly one year since she’s been in Ghana; very measured, very professional diplomat. I have encountered her working on a number of projects at a number of events and she has carried herself with utter dignity and a lot of respect for our country and a lot of grace.

“I mean, she doesn’t have any history, there’s no record at all. She’s not one of those mavericks or renegades who throws all the diplomatic etiquette away and dabbles in all kinds of internal meddling. So I’m surprised that this tweet – I still insist that this tweet should not have brought us here, I think that the IGP overreached, he went overboard; I mean a tweet that says that ‘Oliver Barker-Vormawor convener of FixTheCountry Movement arrested again, I’ll be interested to see how this goes’ I mean there was no active interference,” he said.

The North Tongu MP stressed that the tweet by the British High Commissioner could not have amounted to an active interference in national issues, thus the four-page strong worded reply by the IGP was misplaced.

“I have seen an ICJ ruling on Article 41 of the Vienna Convention which spells out some ingredients, that there has to be some active interference. I mean, did the British Authorities try to stop the police from doing their work? Have they interfered with court processes? Have they granted asylum for example? Have they given the gentleman safe haven, as it were, whisk him out of the jurisdiction? They have done nothing like that,” he said.

He added that it was only normal for the High Commissioner to have shown some interest in the case of Oliver Barker-Vormawor after the University of Cambridge, where he [Oliver] is a PhD candidate, petitioned the Commission to monitor his case.

“…I can cite other examples, more severe, more serious, matters that you can say that look this is, in terms of degree, far more than this rather innocuous tweet, very harmless tweet that was the matter of the day. And we know that Barker-Vormawor is a PhD student at the University of Cambridge, they [the university] have issued two statements and they’ve asked the High Commission here to keep an eye on their students so we know about all of this context.

“And this is an activist, you know, the human right issues, naturally this is a matter that raises a lot of international interest and I do not see how the tweet really gets in the way. If you compare this tweet to other tweets is it about pick and choose?

“Or as I said earlier because we are looking for likes of Gray Murray and Jon Benjamin for many years and this poor woman Harriet Thompson comes in we want to visit the sins of her predecessors on her. I really find it curious,” he said.