General News Thu, 12 Apr 2018

Show your toughness by rejecting defence deal - Ablakwa

The Ranking Member on the Foreign Affairs Committee in Parliament, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, has advised President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to channel his energy into addressing concerns raised by Ghanaians in relation to the Ghana-US defence cooperation agreement and not the defenceless minority.

Mr Akufo-Addo in his address to the nation about the Ghana-US defence deal which has been mired in a lot of controversies urged Ghanaians to “reject the unspeakable hypocrisy of the naysayers who led our country into bankruptcy in the worst economic record of modern Ghanaian history”, adding: “Let us rise above them.”

He rejected accusations by the main opposition National Democratic Congress, its Minority in parliament and civil society organisations, that he has sold Ghana’s sovereignty to the U.S. for $20million, per the deal.

“How else would we have exposed the unspeakable hypocrisy of a 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 while at the same time promote anti-American sentiment to a populist constituency.

“We have to take issue with the frontline politicians who have sought to mislead the people in this blatant manner and those who for mischievous purposes leaked the document destined for the scrutiny of parliament premature to a section of the media who then went on to describe it as a secret document.

“How could a document, intended for the consideration of parliament be described as a secret document? How could anyone who has been in government and run the administration of this nation feign ignorance of the conditions under which Ghanaian troops undertake peace-keeping operations or the conditions under which our country has collaborated with major international institutions?

“It is difficult to understand that such people, knowing what they do know, will go about so blatantly to confuse people and go as far as calling for the overthrow of our democracy. A democracy that has become the beacon of good governance in Africa, a democracy that has survived for a quarter of a century and encompassed even the most irresponsible episodes of governance in a state of unity and stability, a democracy that has provided the framework for systematic development in our social and economic welfare, and assured us of the longest uninterrupted period of stable constitutional governance in our history? Surely this is the kind of cynical manipulations by reckless self-seekers which at the fullness of time, the people of Ghana will acknowledge and condemn and I’m 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 destabilise our peaceful country. Truth is sacrosanct.

“So, let me state with the clearest affirmation that Ghana has not offered a military base and will not offer a military base to the USA. Indeed the USA has not made any request for such consideration and consisted with our established foreign policy, we will not consider any such request,” the President said.

According to him, the NDC and its Minority are being hypocritical about the whole deal.

But Mr Ablakwa believes Nana Akufo-Addo should have rather showed that toughness when he had the opportunity to face the United States of America and reject the military agreement.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu constituency who addressed a public forum organised by the Ghana First Patriotic Front on Wednesday, 11 April 2018, said the minority's views were not incorporated in the agreement and should have therefore been rejected.

The Minority, the Ghana First Patriotic Front, the Economic Fighters League and some critics comprising civil society organisations have rejected the military deal indicating that it is not in the interest of the county but the President holds a contrary view.

Ghana’s Cabinet approved the agreement granting access to the US army to use Ghana’s military installations. It also indicated that Ghana has also agreed to bear the cost and take primary responsibility for securing US military facilities in the country.

As part of the agreement, the United States (US) government will be spending $20million in training and supplying equipment for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the US Embassy in Ghana, has said.

Mr Ablakwa further questioned why the agreement was brought to parliament at the last minute when parliament was due to rise.

He also justified criticisms from a section of the public accusing parliament of rushing through the deal.

The lawmaker pointed out that the Majority side often adopts such an approach to force the House to take decisions in their favour insisting that the defence deal should not be accepted by Ghanaians.

Source: starrfmonline.com
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