Kofi Bentil, the Vice President of IMANI Ghana has described persons jabbing or rather, ‘attacking’ President Akufo-Addo following his take on homosexuality on international television as irrational and ridiculous.
The President in an interview on Arab TV station; Aljazeera said “I don’t believe that in Ghana, so far, a sufficiently strong coalition has emerged which is having that impact on public opinion that will say: ‘Change it [the law], let’s then have a new paradigm in Ghana’”.
“I think it is something that is bound to happen like elsewhere in the world, they are activities of individuals of groups”, he said.
Many, following the comments, have expressed disappointment in the President. For them, the comments suggest a partial endorsement of gayism and a likelihood of the country endorsing the culture.
Kofi Bentil however will have none of it from critics as he took to his Facebook wall to express his sentiments. According to him, the country is faced with more pressing and pertinent issues including lack of good roads, reliable energy, good education, etc. which should be the priority of all Ghanaians and for which government should be pressurized to focus and work on.
“You don’t have; good water, good health, good roads, reliable energy, good education, good transportation, You have women delivering on the floor, people dying from cholera, avoidable floods, open defecation, filthy towns, cities and beaches, and so many disgraceful unacceptable situations!
“And you want government to control what grown men do in their bedrooms!!!!!!!!”, he wrote.
He maintains that persons castigating government have missed the point and have serious problems. Government he says, has absolutely ‘no business’, monitoring the personal lives and decisions of individuals, moreso, activities that take place in their bedrooms.
“There’s something very wrong with you, Government has no business in bedrooms. It must focus on the list above.!!!”, the post read.
The issue of legalizing homosexuality gained massive public interest in 2011 when Late President John Evans Atta Mills strongly refused to legalize it, after the UK threatened to reconsider aids given to countries that are against homosexuality. Reports indicated that Britain put on hold ‘£19 million in aid to Malawi because of concerns including its treatment of gays’.
He is reported to have said, “I, as president of this nation, I will never initiate or support any attempts to legalize homosexuality in Ghana”.
Former President John Dramani Mahama also, speaking on the same subject at the Scottish Parliament said:
“My country is a secular one made up of Christians, Muslims and traditional believers. None of these sects accept gayism and lesbianism. As a leader once the people I rule abhor these things, I cannot accept these cultures on the grounds of human rights. Despite our challenges, our nation stands paramount against any other foreign aim,”
Most Africans frown at the thought of legalizing homosexuality as it defies every aspect of their socio-cultural and religious principles.”
Homosexuality is illegal in about 30 African countries and has laws that reprimand individuals caught in the act.
The current speaker of parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye who is known to have a strong opinion about homosexuality described it as “abominable” and has called for a complete ban on the act.
“I trust that with your kind of insistence, the Parliament of Ghana…will find its way clear in strengthening the laws to ban homosexuality as they exist. As for this, may God forbid that it becomes a Ghanaian culture,” he noted.
Contributing to the debate in a Facebook post however, Private Legal Practitioner, Gabby Otchere-Darko posited that Akufo-Addo’s response was apt.
“The President is absolutely, legally right. Homosexuality is NOT a crime in Ghana. That does not necessarily mean that it is legal. What is a crime, per the law, is unnatural carnal knowledge – and that law was taken straight from the criminal code of England & Wales. Now, lawyers can argue over what is unnatural carnal knowledge to expand and narrow case law. Strictly speaking, having “unnatural carnal knowledge” with even your spouse (lawfully married) of the opposite sex may be construed as an offense! Now, you couples of ‘perverse’ proclivities do take a moment to think about that!”
“The President was also right to say that our society doesn’t seem yet ready for legalizing gay marriages. What we must all protect against is the culture of hate against any man or woman for their sexual orientation. You do not have to be pro-gay to respect your neighbour’s right to choose the one he or she wants to love.” His post read.