MPs’ visa saga: Ghana’s image intact: Antwi-Danso
The Director of Academic Affairs at the Ghana Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Dr Vladimir Antwi-Danso, has said the 10-year ban imposed on three current Members of Parliament (MP) and a former lawmaker will not be a perpetual dent on the image of Ghana.
A confidential letter written to the Speaker of Parliament by the UK government through the UK High Commissioner to Ghana, Mr Jon Benjamin, said the four MPs violated UK visa regulations on different occasions by either providing false information for their visa applications or facilitating the visas of some relatives who overstayed their approved time in the UK.
There is the perception that the revelation will dent the country’s image with its international partners, but speaking to Class News, Dr Antwi-Danso said once the necessary measures are taken to forestall future occurrences, Ghana’s image will be restored.
He, however, added that it would make visa acquisition for future holders of diplomatic passports more difficult.
“Some persons have wrongly used or abused the privileges that go with diplomatic passports, but I wouldn’t go further to say that it’s a racketeering kind of thing in parliament. But implications are there in the sense that future holders of diplomatic passports or service passports would be subjected to strict scrutiny,” he stated.
The international relations expert added that “in most parts of the world, images are images. This is one image we are portraying out there. It doesn’t tell of what image Ghana has, so once we have this image and we are able to correct it [that is it]. The British have their own problem, that is Tony Blair using someone’s 10-year-old Master’s thesis to cause war in Iraq. It is the most disgraceful thing but that didn’t kill Britain, so you will try to show a better image the next time. So this is a bad image but it doesn’t mean that this is the image of Ghana.”