News making the rounds within diplomatic circles over the weekend suggested that former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo, had sneaked into neigborouing Ghana, where he intends to seek asylum.
While Ghana government officials were on Friday denying that any such asylum request had come to it, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mohammed Mumuni went on to state that “President Mills will consider very well,” any asylum request from his good friend Gbagbo.
First to arrive was his second wife, Nadiana Bamba and their child. Nadiana is also the publisher of Le Temps newspaper. She initially checked in at the Labadi Beach Hotel, but was at the weekend sighted around the Cantonments area. Witnesses around East Legon also reported seeing Simone Gbagbo, the first Lady. Both wives were among 19 Ivorians that the European Union slapped visa ban on in December last year after the disputed elections.
Several security movements in and around Trassaco Valley, where the former Ivorian leader owns a plush mansion, support the claim. President JEA Mills is among three African leaders that Prof. Gbagbo is said to have considered their alleged offers to grant him asylum. The other two are Jacob Zuma of South Africa and Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola. But, with a flying ban in La Cote d’Ivoire, both eastern and northern borders inaccessible to him, the besieged Gbagbo had no choice but to turn to his ‘brother”, Mills.
The New Patriotic Party Friday said it had credible information that Gbagbo had approached Ghana for asylum. Speaking to Citi FM, the Communications Director of the NPP, Nana Akomea, said, “This is a very good chance for us to make a difference to the Ivorian situation, we are his nearest neighbours and my understanding is that he is very keen to come to Ghana on asylum and we should quickly organize it for him,” he added. In response, Alhaji Mumuni, Foreign Affairs Minister, said, “I can tell you on authority that there has not been anything of that sort.
“There has been nothing like President Gbagbo has written to President Mills to request for political asylum”. He however added, “Of course as we know President Mills and his sense of compassion and he being a unifier, I have no doubt that if President Gbagbo finds it fit to make such a request President Mills will consider it very well.”
Aide to former President Rawlings and Deputy General Secretary of the ruling NDC has however, cautioned his party against granting Gbagbo asylum status in Ghana. Speaking on Joy FM, Kofi Adams said such a decision would only give credibility to allegations that President Mills was always supporting Gbagbo.
Source: The New Statesman