The Foreign Affairs Ministry has dismissed claims that it has sanctioned the deportation of undocumented Ghanaians living abroad.
A press release from the Ministry is asking the public to ignore the “untruthful and cruel attempts being made by some unpatriotic elements, to twist the responses given by the Minister [Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey] when she appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament of Ghana on 23rd January 2017.”
The Foreign Affairs Ministry clarifies that the Minister only sought to point out that although it had no power to interfere in the sovereignty of another country, it was mandated to engage countries where undocumented Ghanaians were residing to ensure they were treated in a humane manner when the need arises, and protect their interest by extending to them all the consular assistance that they are entitled to as citizens.
The Foreign Affairs Ministry released the following press statement:
The attention of the Ministry of Foreign affairs has been drawn to false reports being circulated on social media by some Ghanaians in the Diaspora, that the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional integration, Hon Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey has sanctioned the deportation to Ghana, of undocumented Ghanaians residing abroad.
The ministry wishes to point out that these are untruthful and cruel attempts being made by some unpatriotic elements, to twist the responses given by the Minister, when she appeared before the Appointments Committee of Parliament of Ghana on 23rd January 2017.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional integration wishes to point out that seeking and protecting the welfare of Ghanaians abroad is one of the cardinal principles of Ghana’s foreign policy. Honourable Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey articulated that very well during her vetting. She also indicated that much as missions abroad could not interfere in the affairs of any sovereign country, to have the status of undocumented Ghanaians regularised, she would engage those countries to ensure that our nationals are treated in a humane manner, whenever the need arises and do all that she can to protect their interest, by extending to them all the consular assistance that they are entitled to as Ghanaians.
Against the backdrop of an earlier question on Ghanaians bringing their experience, knowledge and skills to bear on our national development, the Honourable Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional integration added that Ghana’s missions abroad could meet with our compatriots in the diaspora and appeal to them to come home to assist whenever they were disposed to. Never was it said that they would be deported.
The Ministry of Foreign affairs and Regional Integration has not issued directives for the deportation of any Ghanaians living abroad.
The general public is therefore entreated to disregard those negative reports which seek to malign the person of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Regional integration, Honourable Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey and the Ministry as a whole.