PRESIDENT’S DISCLOSURE MUST PUT MATTERS TO REST!

For almost a fortnight in recent times, Ghana has been thrown into consternation and uncertainty, following Parliament’s ratification of an agreement between the government of Ghana and the government of the United States of America (USA), on defence cooperation, the status of the forces of the USA in the said agreement, as well as their access to and use of agreed facilities and areas in the country.

 

The ratification is said to have been occasioned by the adoption of the report of the joint Parliamentary Committee on Defence and Interior, and the Committee on Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, which recommended it by a majority decision.

 

When the document came to public notice, the stipulations were found to be inimical to the country’s interest and security.   Among items listed were the unbridled and unimpeded access granted the US military to, and use of facilities and other amenities which some felt infringed our sovereignty. A section of the publci felt our legislators who should protect our persons and the country’s territorial integrity, had exposed us to utter danger and insecurity.

 

The outcome and aftermath of this feeling of betrayal by our legislators;  The demonstration which rocked Accra, the capital city on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 which saw Ghanaians from all walks of life and political shades expressing their indignation, frustration and anger with the defence cooperation pact.  The empirical expression was that the legislators had not represented their interest, and should therefore, be revoked.  How best to drum this message home to the Parliamentarians than a public demonstration?  And this is what they did!

 

The GhanaianTimes opines that there is nothing wrong entering into cooperation with any country, agency or body, no least the United States.  After all, the late Dr Nkrumah’s government initiated the Peace Corps agreement with the US, by which American teachers came over to educate many of our students in secondary schools in the 1960s, brought in the Israelis to establish the Workers Brigade, and the Russians who introduced Ghanaians to their type of bread.  And no qualms were raised over these!

 

Dr Nkrumah went further to bring in Kaiser Engineers, to build the Volta Aluminium Company, Tema city and the harbour, all of which offered jobs to our people, in his spirit of work and happiness.  And the country was the overall beneficiary!

 

So, if any government or President, President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo’s included, wishes to enter into any agreement with any country with enormous potential for the benefit of our compatriots, we welcome it.  But then, if any such agreement would compromise our security as a people and sovereignty as a nation, then we entreat the government to tread cautiously.

 

Ghana lost her illustrious son, academic, poet and diplomat, Dr Kofi Awoonor to terrorists in far away Kenya, we are aware of the insecurity of our compatriots next door – Burkina Faso and Mali are going through, for the veiled hatred of America for its military involvement in Somalia, and France in the Maghreb /Sahel Region.  And these should be lessons enough for us as a people, in any agreement we enter into with the United States.

 

This is why we find President Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo’s disclosure in his broadcast to the nation on Thursday, April 6, 2018 that Ghana has not offered a base to the US and the further assurance that it would not offer any such facility is heartwarming and gratifying, since he has put the country and Ghanaians at ease.

We now feel relieved from the fear and panic which have stared us in the face in recent times.  And we are grateful to him for this.

 

President Akufo Addo can continue with the cooperation agreement with the US if he still finds it prudent and expedient, but then if it should put the country and the citizenry in harm’s way, and make us objects of the assassins’ bullets, then we urge him to listen to the voices and sentiments of the people and review it.

The Times wishes the government and Ghana well!

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