The Vice Chairman of the opposition National Democratic Congress, (NDC), Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo has stated that the NPP’s plan to protect LGBT’s in the country is part of the agenda to legalize the act.
He described the statement from the Inspector general of Police to protect them as Ghana’s New Year gift from the NPP government.
In a letter dated, October 11, 2017 and addressed to the IGP, a group advocating for LGBT’s said they would want the contribution of the police service on how LGBTs are treated and what can be done to protect them.
A recent report by Human Rights Watch said the LGBTs are treated as second-class citizens due to what it termed “colonial-era laws that criminalizes same-sex activity.” Human Rights Watch is therefore questioning the retention of section 104 of the Criminal Offences Act since that is thwarting efforts to protect the rights of members of the LGBTI community.
Dozens of LGBT people have been attacked by mobs or by members of their own families, Human Rights Watch reported. In August 2015, in Nima, a town in the Accra region, members of Safety Empire, a vigilante group, brutally assaulted a young man they suspected was gay. In May 2016, in a village outside Kumasi in the Ashanti region, the mother of a young woman organized a mob to beat up her daughter and another woman because she suspected they were lesbians and in a same-sex relationship. The two young women were forced to flee the village
Speaking on Ahotor FM’s Morning show on Thursday, 11th January, 2018, the Vice Chairman stated that President Akuffo Addo’s interview granted to Al Jazeera on the subject stated clearly the modalities for LGBT legalization in the country.
According to Ofosu-Ampofo the interview by the president was premeditated and planed for a certain course.
“I am not endorsing that people should take the law into their own hands by attacking LGBT’s but the law is clear on this act and our culture, religion and society frowns on it. We should educate the public not to attack gays but inform the appreciate security services for their arrest since it is unlawful”
“What president Akuffo did at Al Jazeera was deliberate, premeditated, just to set the agenda and create an enabling environment for agitation” He stated.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo told Jane Dutton on Talk to Al Jazeera, legalisation of homosexuality is not on his government’s agenda.
But the status of gays in the country could change if there is a groundswell of pressure for that to be done, he said.
“At the moment, I don’t feel, I don’t see that in Ghana there is that strong current of opinion that is saying this is something we need to deal with. It is not so far a matter that is on the agenda,” he said.
Ofosu-Ampfo further stated that the government should take pragmatic steps to address the issue.
Daniel Koranteng Kwagyiri|ahoronline.com|Ghana