Politics Thu, 12 Apr 2018

Be robust in negotiating deals; not on innocent Ghanaians – Ablakwa to Akufo-Addo

North Tongu MP, Okudzeto Ablakwa has bashed Akufo-Addo for what he claims is his inability to stand up to US President Donald Trump.

Okudzeto Ablakwa posits that Akufo-Addo failed to assert himself and the country's interests in negotiating the enhanced defense cooperation between the two countries.

The North Tongu legislator reckoned that the President lacked the robustness and toughness he showed when addressing the nation on the military deal issue last week.

Okudzeto Ablakwa claimed that it was President Trump who called Akufo-Addo to request that the negotiation take place and an enhanced deal put forward.

Akufo-Addo addressed the nation last week Wednesday in a bid to close the public debate on the issues that arose when it was sent to parliament but has been heavily criticised by opposition groups and some sections of civil society for his posture and content of his delivery.

"I want to say that I really wish that this president's posture and his robustness, President Rawlings described the speech as hard, I want to beg the President with all due respect because he is older than my father that the people of this country want to see this hardness, this robustness during negotiation of agreements that's where we want to see it. We don't want to see this robustness, this hardness on us, we who are not negotiating with you. Your defenceless, innocent citizens who you lead who are only raising genuine concerns, that's all we are doing" Ablakwa stated.

"We don't have the might of America, we don't have all the weapons that America has. So when paragraph four to the preamble of this agreement reveals that President Trump called our president and they had a dialogue, to initiate this agreement, that is where we expect President Akufo-Addo to show this kind of toughness or robustness or macho" he added.

Hundreds of Ghanaians have demonstrated against the deal which gives US military and their civilian contractors unimpeded access to certain installations and in return offer $20 million by way of training and equipment to the Ghana Armed Forces.

Okudzeto Ablakwa was speaking at a forum organised by The Ghana First Patriotic Front at the Law Faculty Auditorium of the University of Ghana.

Also at the forum was a Senior Researcher at the Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD), Dr. Ken Ahorsu who noted that the US took advantage of Ghana's situation to impose a one-sided deal.

He explained says Ghana’s stable democracy and soft power credentials make it a fertile ground for the US to extend its power and influence across the sub-region.

Dr Ken Ahorsu is alleging the controversial 2018 Ghana-US military cooperation agreement will lead to the setting up of military bases at the Tamale and Kotoka International Airports.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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