Vice President of policy think tank, IMANI Africa, Kofi Bentil has raised concerns about the general safety and welfare of the Ghanaian with the introduction of the US military deal in the country.
Mr. Bentil, assessing President Akufo-Addo’s address to the nation on the controversial deal which has sparked massive public debate for weeks though expressed general satisfaction with aspects of maintained, that there were very pertinent issues the President failed to address.
The safety of all citizens which he says should be paramount in all government’s decisions was not touched on by the President; whose responsibility it would be for instance to ensure justice should any Ghanaian be injured by a US officer he believes should have been addressed in Thursday’s speech.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning show Friday, Mr. Bentil said; “indeed I am satisfied with aspects of this thing but I still have a problem because I don’t think we have done a good enough job to totally close this loop and I hope that will be done in due course….In a hypothetical case where the vehicle of an American soldier runs over a woman and her children, where should her husband turn to for justice; US government or Ghana government, Bentil asked.
According to him, there ought to be a clearly laid out law to that effect such that in the face of any such eventualities, the law will apply and the affected individual will not be left hanging.
“In other places, what they will do is that the government will issue some sort of a law of a statement such that the Ghana government in a case like that will take up the issue; they will bear responsibility, [and] they will indemnify them. That has to be expressed, that has to be clarified and that has not been done,” he argued.
Mr. Bentil additionally believes that areas in the agreement that are not in the national interest should have been excluded from the deal.
President Akufo-Addo finally broke the ‘long-held silence’ on the ongoing debate on the defense deal with an address to the nation Thursday evening 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.
“Let me say how outraged I am by the defamatory comments from my political opponents, some of whose patriotism can be so easily questioned, that the sovereignty of this country has been sold by my government and myself. I will never be the President that will compromise or sell the sovereignty of our country. I respect deeply the memory of the great patriots whose sacrifice and toil brought about our independence and freedom.
I have stood with you, the Ghanaian people, all my adult life, fighting for our individual and collective rights. Everything I have done, since assuming the great honour and privilege of serving you as President of the Republic, demonstrates that I remain focused on building a self-reliant, free, prosperous Ghana, which will be able to make her own unique contribution to the growth and development of Africa and the world”, he affirmed.