The United States government has deported 108 Ghanaians from that country in chains for various offences.
About 57 of the deportees were brought back to Ghana Wednesday from the United States of America (USA) where they had gone to seek ‘greener pastures’.
Sources have it that the remaining 51 are expected to be flown in sometime next week.
A letter to that effect signed by US government officials – a copy of which has been sighted by the Daily Guide newspaper and addressed to Ghanaian authorities, indicated that the deportees have been sent home for various offences, ranging from drug possession, larceny, assault, theft, sexual assault, identity theft, illegal entry, forgery/fraud, resisting arrest and other non-criminal offences.
Most of them are said to have migrated from the Ashanti and the Central Regions of Ghana.
Some of them came with just backpacks and the majority of them came back with nothing.
As early as 8am, the special chartered flight on which they were deported had touched down at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) but it was not without drama.
According to sources at the airport, when the plane landed, the Ghanaian officials attempted to unlock the handcuffs which had been placed on their hands.
That was what reportedly sparked a spontaneous reaction from the already disappointed and angry deportees, some of who said they had spent two years in American jail before their deportation.
They would not allow the handcuffs to be unlocked until the whole world had seen what they thought was an inhuman treatment meted out to them by the US authorities.
“What have I done; am I a criminal to be placed in lock and key?”, one of them yelled while showing the cuffs on his wrists to Kotoka Airport officials.
“They (US authorities) handcuffed us; they handcuffed us before we boarded the plane that is why we say we are not getting down unless they allow us to get down with the handcuffs for everybody to see how they have been treating us.
“That is why we said no, we are not getting down. They called some immigration officers (at the airport) to come and talk to us but we said no we want to come down with the handcuffs and so they said we should come down. They handcuffed us in the United States. My waist, hands and my legs were all cuffed. Both legs were cuffed so you cannot even walk; you cannot eat; you cannot do anything,” another reportedly told Accra-based radio station.
Another deportee narrated, “We have been handcuffed from Monday to today. A lot of people here (Kotoka Airport) today saw it; if you think I am lying you can ask the people around. If you want to urinate you struggle in the handcuff before passing urine.”
One was also quoted as having said that “we all left Ghana for America to better our future so we passed through Brazil to Colombia and some of us even died on the way…now the people handcuffed us; they only gave us bread and water from morning till evening so when we came here (Kotoka) a lot of the people were fighting them that you cannot deport us empty-handed. We need money to go home.”
Matters were said to have gotten worse when they realized that they were not going to be given money to board vehicles to their respective homes.
That was because most of them claimed not to have money on them and that all they had were their handbags.
Police, National Security and Immigration officials had a hectic time controlling the returnees.
At a point, the airport police commander, Chief Superintendent Yao Tetegah, who was there with his men to provide security for the (airport officials), reportedly had to call for reinforcement to restore sanity.
But after the tug of war, the deportees agreed to give their detailed bio-data to the authorities before being allowed to leave for their respective destinations