Review Ghana-US military agreement – Nana Yaw Akwada charges Akufo-Addo

Executive Secretary of the Bureau of Public Safety, Nana Yaw Akwada has made a call on President Akufo-Addo to exercise his executive powers by ensuring the military agreement between Ghana and the United States of America which was ratified by Parliament Friday evening is reviewed.

According to Mr Akwada, the house of legislature failed to carry out its mandate of representing the will of the people who voted for them when members approved the deal at a time many Ghanaians clearly showed they were against it.

He said, “even though this agreement has been ratified we also know that there is a certain note verbale that will have to be sent to the Americans before this agreement takes effect. Your Excellency, as the father of the nation and the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, the whole of Ghana is now looking up to you to halt this agreement in its tracks”.

“Cause it to be reviewed and address clauses that enable perpetual US military occupation of our land, express authorization to use Ghana as a launchpad for offensive military operations and unimpeded access to spaces and facilities to which sovereign Ghana has absolutely no control over,” he added.

According to him even though Ghanaians are not against the fight against terrorism, they neither want the country to become vulnerable to terrorists.

Nana Yaw Akwada further charged the president to “serve the public interest with courage” as he pledged to do in his inaugural speech on 7th January 2017.

He believes Akufo-Addo “can withdraw, review and possibly scale down the possibly the monumental detrimental terms” in the agreement.

Background

Ghana’s Cabinet agreed to provide the US’ military troop 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 Parliament on Tuesday recommending to Parliament to ratify the agreement, but it was rejected by the opposition in Parliament.

Parliament on Friday night, March 23, 2018, approved the controversial Ghana-US defence cooperation agreement which seeks to provide the United States access into the country to camp its military forces.

The approval was done by only Majority Members of Parliament because the Minority staged a walkout during the debate on the Floor of the House.

“This House adopts the report from the joint committee on defence and interior,” the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye said after the approval.

Prior to staging the walkout, the Minority Leader, Haruna Iddrisu, spoke for close to 17 minutes giving a litany of reasons why they believe the agreement should not be ratified by Parliament.

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.

The Government has consistently explained that it was only respecting the existing Status of Forces Agreement with the US signed since 1998 and reviewed in 2015, under the previous NDC administration.

But the NDC Minority has downplayed this argument saying the agreement as existed in the past, did not have the same clauses like the current one that gives the US unlimited access to Ghana’s military facilities.

The US Embassy in Ghana has also explained that it is only planning joint security exercises with Ghana, which will require that US military personnel are allowed access to Ghana’s military facilities and that they are not building a military base.

 

 

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