General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress, Johnson Asiedu Nketia has taken a swipe at the Minister for Information Mustapha Hamid describing his suggestion that Parliament will be recalled to ratify the 1998 and the 2015 defence cooperation agreements as ‘not sensible’.
Mustapha Hamid in an interview with Accra based Citi FM stated that “Government intends to cure that defect by taking the 1998 and 2015 agreements to Parliament for Parliament to give us ratification so that we will continue to operate under these current arrangements that we have until we have completed the processes for triggering the 2018 arrangements.”
According to him, the ratification of these old deals is to ensure that there is a legal framework, guiding the collaboration of the US and Ghanaian armies, as it works to implement the controversial 2018 defence cooperation.
Responding to the Minister’s comment on 3FM’s Sunrise show, Asiedu Nketia popularly known as ‘General Mosquito’ said, “I don’t think anybody who is suggesting that has his head properly screwed on.”
“That person needs to be examined” he added.
General Mosquito further noted that the Information Minister doesn’t deserve to be paid with the taxpayer’s money.
According to him, Mustapha Hamid who is the Information Minister is trivializing very important national the issues.
He said if the Defence Minister and the Information Minister are part of Nana Akufo-Addo’s 110 ministers of State, then the Country is in trouble.
The NDC scribe reiterated that the US-Ghana Defence Corporation agreement is to sell Ghana’s sovereignty to the United States of America.
Parliament of Ghana, on Friday, March 23, 2018, approved the Ghana-US Military cooperation agreement, which seeks to give US forces access to some key national installations for their exclusive use.
The objective of the agreement is to set forth a framework for enhanced partnership and security cooperation between the US and Ghana, with the aim of strengthening their defence relationship.
The pact, which has sparked widespread controversy, was ratified without the Minority in Parliament who were opposed to it.
The ratification followed the adoption of the report of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Interior and the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs which had recommended, by a majority decision, the ratification of the agreement.
Cabinet had agreed to provide the US’ military with a place near the Kotoka International Airport and also give them unhindered access to some key installations following a Memorandum of Understanding between the government of Ghana and the US government.
The MoU was laid before the house recommending to Parliament to ratify the agreement, but it was rejected by the main opposition.
The ratified agreement means that the US army will among other things be exempted from paying taxes on equipment that are brought to Ghana as well as use Ghana’s radio spectrum for free.
The troops and their equipment will also have unhindered access to the US forces and their equipment.
Although many Ghanaians have expressed resentment over the clauses of the agreement, the Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, said the agreement is in the best interest of Ghana.
At a press conference recently, the Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, had said the US government was making the request based on earlier memoranda signed in February 1998 and April 2015 which were binding on the two countries.
Statement by US Embassy in Ghana
The US embassy in Ghana in a statement issued Wednesday, March 28, 2018 stated that the “United States has not requested, nor does it intend to request, the establishment of a military base in Ghana or the permanent presence of U.S. troops in Ghana. Reports alleging otherwise are inaccurate and misleading.”
This is the second time the US has officially dismissed reports that a military base will be established in Ghana. The opposition NDC has maintained that the US is establishing a military base and have called on President Akufo-Addo to reject the deal.
Read full statement below
The U.S. Embassy underscores that the United States has not requested, nor does it intend to request, the establishment of a military base in Ghana or the permanent presence of U.S. troops in Ghana. Reports alleging otherwise are inaccurate and misleading.
The Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between the governments of the United States of America and the Republic of Ghana is not a base agreement.
It is the legal framework to govern the ongoing security cooperation between our two sovereign countries; our security cooperation spans more than 20 years and has included numerous bilateral and multilateral training activities in Ghana.
The United States has a significant number of DCAs with countries around the world, including European, Asian and African partners.
The Defense Cooperation Agreement does not give the U.S. military the right to enter Ghana without permission from the Government of Ghana. Instead, the DCA addresses the rights and responsibilities of both nations when the U.S. military is present in Ghana, with permission from the Government of Ghana, and for purposes that the Government of Ghana decides are appropriate.
Furthermore, the principle of reciprocity observed between our two nations applies to provisions such as immunity and shipments. By establishing this expanded legal framework between our two countries, we underscore our respect for Ghana’s sovereignty as we seek to strengthen our cooperation on regional and global issues.