Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper has challenged groups and advocates aggressively resisting the legalization and acceptance of homosexuality and lesbianism to channel that same energy into fighting against government’s defense agreement with the United States of America or consider their efforts against the former (homosexuality, lesbianism), a useless, impractical and hopeless cause.
Speaking at a Public Forum on the US Military base in Ghana Monday June 4, Mr. Pratt argued that the defense deal, among other things, nullifies the campaign most Ghanaians are pitching against the practice and legalization of same-sex relationships and marriage in Ghana considering the fact that government, through this agreement is allowing into the country, persons who legally have the right to practice homosexuality without any restraints.
He maintains that citizens have a greater task of having to live with foreigners (US troops) who may be gays and may be practicing it freely because the terms in the agreement exempts them from any legal sanctions by Ghana’s laws.
“If they really want to fight against homosexuality, they should fight against the U.S Military base because under American law, homosexuality is legal so the American soldiers who come here who are not subject to our laws, they can practice it, it is legal”.
“I’m being very honest with you, I don’t have what we call a rigid position on homosexuality and in fact I don’t even want to discuss that matter for various reasons….Anytime the issue of homosexuality comes up people are very angry and the other day I heard that some people were forming a coalition to go to parliament and get parliament to enact a law which will prevent homosexuality or make homosexuality legal, those people, they should ‘look sharp’ because we have signed an agreement with the U.S which says that our laws will not apply in some parts of the country so if you go to parliament and get parliament to pass a law making homosexuality illegal, it will not apply in the airport which is part of the military base, it will not apply in airport, it will not apply in Burma Camp., if they were subject to our laws then…..”, he added.
According to the ace journalist, the military pact undermines the concept of ‘equality of citizens’ in the 1992 constitution and is a complete disregard for the right of every Ghanaian. It makes no sense to him that foreigners (US troops) will be given such privileges as free movement in and out of the country without restrictions when even the rightful Ghanaian citizen is subjected to rigorous screening when they have to move in and out of their own country.
The deal he says, also makes the citizenry prone to massive attacks from the opponents of the United States.
“The United States created its own monsters…ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, but somehow it is losing control of these forces. The truth of the matter is that today in Nigeria, we have Boko Haram which are pledging allegiance to ISIS, the US must be very worried it’s losing control of the forces it created but the problem is this, if we allow the U.S to use our country to attack its opponents or enemies or bad guys, don’t you think we become legitimate enemies…..so that must be a source of worry for all of us, the fact that this can happen”, he stated.
Ghana’s Cabinet had agreed to provide the US’ military troop a place near the Kotoka International Airport, and also give them unhindered access to some key installations following a Memorandum of Understanding between the government of Ghana and the US government.
The Majority in Parliament on Friday night, March 23, 2018 ratified the agreement after the Minority walked out of the chamber in protest. After several protests including a group threatening to storm parliament to demand a revoke of the deal by the legislators, President Akufo-Addo finally broke the ‘long-held silence’ on the issue with an address to the nation in which he touched on critical areas of concern that have been raised by the citizenry in relation to the subject.
In his speech, President Akufo-Addo clarified that Ghana has “not offered a military base, and will not offer a military base to the United States of America.” According to him, no such request would even have been considered by government if any had been made by the US government. He was rather confident that the agreement “will help enhance our defence capability, and offer an important layer of support in our common effort to protect the peace in our region.”
He among other things also massively criticized the NDC’s reaction to the decision since its announcement.