NDC Member of parliament for North Tongu in the Volta Region, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has said the purported watertight revelation by seasoned Journalist Malik Kweku Baako Jnr on the Ghana-US military cooperation pact was merely overhyped by the press.
“There is nothing new about Baako’s revelation to have been given attention in the media. I find it strange the kind of headlines made on that reportage.” Ablakwa told host Fiifi Banson on Anopa Kasapa on Kasapa 102.5 FM.
Several news portal reported of an intercepted letter by Editor in Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper Malik Kweku Baako Jnr part of which suggests ex-president John Mahama approved the contentious agreement for Ghana to be used as base for US military operation.
The letter dated February 12, 2015 and signed by Hannah Nyarko for the Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration Minister made copious references to the agreement reached between the ex-president and the US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Miss Bisa Williams at the Flagstaff House on 4 September 2014.
Based on that agreement, the US government wrote a diplomatic note dated February 5, 2015, a copy of which was attached to the February 12 letter, in which the US government sought approval from their Ghanaian counterparts to use “Ghana’s territory and airspace” for the operation.
“The operations involved the deployment of 200 US marine forces, Africa personnel, 4 MV 22 Osprey and 2 C130 Hercules aircraft. The deployment was scheduled to begin on 10 February 2015 and last for approximately 5 weeks if approved,” Malik Kweku Baako made the revelations on Newsfile Saturday.
But reacting to the latest revelation by the senior journalist, Mr. Ablakwa who was on the same show with Kweku Baako told Kasapa FM the 5 week US military operation, which former president Mahama allegedly gave approval of is not a cogent case for one to make capital out of it vis a vis the 2018 US Defense deal.
According to him, such brief operations, which same was reportedly exposed by Kwaku Baako in his intercepted letter is not new, adding rather the 2018 military cooperation agreement supercedes the others entered into the previous years which were just temporal.
“We all know that perhaps since 1960, there have always been brief military defense cooperation between the US and other countries, where US military will visit for brief training. But this is different from the 2018 agreement which the one-sided majority ratified in parliament, which will allow a physical permanent presence by the US military.” Ablakwa argued.
Meanwhile, Ablakwa who’s the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs has questioned President Nana Akufo-Addo’s deafening silence on the controversial Ghana-US Military agreement.
In an open letter to the President, the former Deputy Education Minister, said the President’s silence on the matter was deplorable.