The people of Ghana must be grateful to the American government for spending resources to train Ghanaian’s military officers and police personnel, Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul, has said.
According to him, the current agreement approved by cabinet will ensure that the US government moves into Ghana with its military to provide, among other things, training for Ghanaian security officers. This agreement he said is not to establish a US military base in the country.
He explained to Accra FM’s Parliamentary correspondent Richard Appiah Sarpong on Tuesday March 20 in parliament that the partnership between the two countries has become necessary given the growing incident of terrorism around the world.
On Tuesday news emerged that Ghana’s Cabinet has approved an agreement granting access to the United States of America to establish a military base in Ghana. It also indicated that Ghana has also agreed to bear the cost and take primary responsibility for securing U.S. military facilities in the country.
According to the contract, Ghana has also granted U.S contractors tax exemption. According to sources, the negotiation started in 2017 but was approved on Thursday, 8 March 2018.
This news attracted mixed reactions from a section of the Ghanaian public. Minority MP Sam Nartey George has said his caucus will do everything legally possible to stop President Nana Akufo-Addo from selling Ghana’s sovereignty to the United States of America.
In Mr George’s view, “This is AFRICOM. What is in it for Ghana? Nothing. So what is President Akufo-Addo gaining from this? Because Ghana is not gaining anything from this, so for him to give his approval, it means he is gaining something from this. He has to tell the Ghanaian people,” he said on Accra-based Starr FM.
The Minority in parliament, he said, will fight it in every way: “You can’t tell me this makes logical sense to sell your sovereignty. What are we selling our sovereignty for? Nothing. They are going to lay it before parliament this morning. They will hear the Indian belly, ‘gumbe’, more ‘gumbe’ will flow on the floor of the house, because you cannot bring this to us, this is an insult to the people that we represent and I expect every properly minded Ghanaian to stand up and speak against it”.
But Mr Nitiwul said : “This is not establishment of a US military base in Ghana, the minority should stop lying to the people of this country. It is an agreement that will see the US military providing training for our soldiers and police officers.
“We should be grateful to the American government for spending their hard earned resources to come and upgrade our soldiers so that tomorrow, God forbid if anything happens the Armed Forces can defend us.
“They are training the Police as well, is not just the soldiers. The best we can do in this era of terrorism we need partners across the world. In Ghana today we have partners in the US, with China and other countries.”