The founder and leader of the All People’s Congress (APC), Mr Hassan Ayariga has defended his comments that making love to a woman during her menstrual period produces children with albinism (albinos).
The presidential aspirant had made the comment in an earlier interview on Tuesday with Accra based radio, Class FM and when another radio station, Okay FM called him on Wednesday for a clarification, he defended the comments.
Mr Ayariga was contributing to discussions on discrimination against Persons Living with Albinism, as well as recent fears expressed by such persons in Ghana that they risked being targeted for ritual murder by politicians to enhance their electoral fortunes in this year’s elections.
“I did some survey and I was told anybody can give birth to an albino, but the process is this way… If your wife is bleeding and in the process you are too hungry and you don’t want to wait until it’s over, and you decide to do the thing while she’s bleeding, in the process if she gets pregnant – you know some [women] can get pregnant even while bleeding – that is when that particular child [albino] is born.
That’s what I’m told, because of the process of blood [flow]. So, if in that process it happens that there are some women who are too fertile even as they bleed, [then they can give birth to an albino],” he told the radio station. [Classfmonline]
Defending the comments on Okay FM Mr Ayariga said he was angry and sad because in many countries they kill albinos for power and questioned why people will kill for ritual purposes just to be in power.
“…and if anybody should kill for Hassan Ayariga to win power, then I will resign and will never be president of this country. They were talking about the fact that it was a deficiency and I said that no no anybody …can give birth to an albino, there is no special human beings who give birth to albinos. An albino can even give birth and it would not be an albino. The process is this way, you see sometimes we men, we always want to have sex with our wives …and when even they are in their menstrual cycle we want to force them to have sex. There are women who are too fertile and if you even touch them they can give birth,” he repeated the assertion on Okay FM.
Mr Ayariga’s claim about how Persons Living with Albinism are born comes a week after the Executive Director of the Ghana Association of Persons with Albinism, Newton Komla Katseku, told another radio station – Onua FM that they feared politicians would kill them for fortunes.
Mr Katseku said persons with albinism needed to be protected by the government from such atrocities.
Across Africa (from Malawi, Tanzania, and Burundi in the east, to Cameroon in the west) albinos are targeted for ritual murder since it is believed they have magical powers or bring good luck. They are killed, and their body parts are sold to be used in potions made by witch-doctors.
Mr Ayariga is vying to become a President of Ghana and has initiated moves to get an endorsement from his political party – APC to be able to contest as a presidential candidate.
Science however disapproves of his assertion of how albinos are born.
What is albinism?
Albinism according to scientists is a disease in which a person has partial or complete loss of pigmentation (coloring) of the skin, eyes and hair and that It is caused by a reduction or absence of a pigment called melanin.
It is said to occur when the cell (melanocyte) responsible for giving skin, hair, and eyes pigmentation are present, but genetic mutations interfere with their pigment production or their ability to distribute it to the major cell type comprising the epidermis, or outer layer of the skin.
There are currently five known genetic types of albinism, the most common being oculocutaneous type 1 (OCA1) and type 2 (OCA2). Oculocutaneous albinism affects the eyes and skin while OCA2, the most common form of albinism in Africa, results from a mutation in the OCA2 gene, which encodes the P protein, according to science.