The president of the republic of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is accusing the opposition of being self-seeking and manipulating the public recklessly to achieve a political end on the Ghana US military deal.
Addressing the nation on Thursday night, he he lashed out at unpatriotic opponents accusing him of selling the sovereignty of Ghana.
He said he however takes the public heat on “what has happened not to be symptomatic of the hazards of democracy, but a show of the strength of democracy in action”.
“And how else would we have exposed the unspeakable hypocrisy of the fraternity of some frontline politicians, who make a habit of running with the hares and hunting with the hounds, who secretly wallow in the largesse of the United States of America, whilst, at the same time, promote anti-American sentiments to a populist constituency? Submitting this Agreement to open scrutiny now allows us to clear the unhealthy fog that has clouded our relations with the United States of America.” He said.
He went on: “This is the kind of cynical manipulation by reckless self-seekers, which, in the fullness of time, the people of Ghana will acknowledge and condemn. And I am sure that as the facts become clear and widely available, and as the people come to terms with the evidence, they will reject the falsehood and deliberate attempts to destabilize our peaceful country. Truth is sacrosanct.”
The controversial agreement
“This agreement is not the first time… similar ones were agreed between the countries in 1997 and 2007. And it is going to Parliament because any foreign agreement must go to Parliament, besides requests for tax waivers can only be granted by Parliament”, was the explanation Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul gave the media when queried on the deal.
“I have no authority to grant tax waivers,” he said, explaining that the partnership is strategic as it seeks to strengthen Ghanaian forces and defences particularly in this era of terrorism and terror attacks.
“The United States of America is not establishing a military base in Ghana, at all…it is not true and they do not intend to do that, not at all.” He said, for clarity.
He took pains to explain that the US has brought a Defense Corporation Agreement seeking an understanding of the status of their troops who come to Ghana to train our soldiers and vice versa. He added that they have only asked to make use of some facilities at the Kotoka International Airport (KIA) and the Tema Port to keep their cargo and other materials they may use during their stay in the country.
The US Embassy corroborated same. But many Ghanaians think otherwise.
Mr Nitiwul came back harder: “There is no military base anywhere and people are running home with it as if the US has come to establish a base here…it is not true, please,” he stressed.
The ‘devil’ in the detail
According to the agreement, Ghana will provide unimpeded access to and use of agreed facilities and areas to the U.S. forces and Contractors, including non-liability clauses that makes Ghana laws inapplicable to offending US troops.
Ghana is also granting free use of our radio spectrum for the United States, something many criticize.
Ghana is entitled to $20 million dollars in aid over a period for the deal.