Chairman of the National Peace Council has indicated that the Council does not have the competence, at this stage, to contribute to the ongoing debate on the US military co-operation agreement.
“I don’t think at this stage it is really necessary for the council to come in to say anything, because, I mean, what is being done, there is nothing untoward, towards the discussions that are going on to push the Peace council to come in at this stage; that doesn’t mean it may not be necessary but at this stage,” Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante told TV3.
His comment was in response to a question posed by Bright Nana Amfoh on Monday, enquiring if the council speaking on the issue at stake would amount to politicising it.
It is not in the interest of the Council to step into everything even when it is being handled within the ambit of law, he said, explaining, “the Peace Council is an arbitrator; we stand in the middle to ensure that the right things are done”.
He further added, “It is only when you realised that what is being done is not keeping with the rule of law, is creating acrimony, it is creating tension in the country, then you come in…”
Individuals, political parties in opposition, and civil society groups have mounted strong pressure on government to review or abrogate the agreement, citing several concerns including their conviction that the agreement overly favours the Americans, which they said suggests Ghana’s sovereignty is being mortgaged.
This position has vehemently been rejected by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.
The Ghana First Patriotic Front, a fortnight ago, in the national capital Accra, staged the first in a series of demonstrations to pile pressure on government to rescind its decision on the agreement. The demonstration in Accra earned the commendation of former President John Dramani Mahama.
Asked at what point would the Council consider necessary to step despite the acrimonious protestations, he replied, “Is there a stalemate, then why should we bother?”
Earlier, Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante talked about the competence of the Council to wade into the debate.
“I don’t think I am competent to talk about the merits of the issue, I am competent at us looking at things in an objective perspective and not allow partisan politics to dictate our positions on what is being done; is it in the interest of the nation, is it something we can look at?”
According to him, the demonstration, protests and entrenched positions taken by the government and opposition parties are being done within the laws of the country without showing cause for people to be alarmed.