General News of Friday, 20 January 2017
The Member of Parliament for the Adaklu constituency, Kwame Agbodza, believes President Nana Akufo-Addo should have sought legislative approval before involving Ghanaian troops in The Gambia’s political crisis.
According to Mr. Agbodza, President Akufo-Addo exhibited a lack of restraint when he approved the deployment of 205 soldiers for ECOWAS military operations in The Gambia, which has two individuals claiming the Presidency.
The winner of The Gambia’s 2016 general elections, Adama Barrow, took the oath of office at the country’s embassy in Senegal, and he has been recognized internationally.
But the defeated Yahya Jammeh, has refused to step down as President, and West African leaders have threatened to remove him by force. Senegalese troops have already have entered The Gambia to ensure Adama Barrow is the sole president.
Member of Parliament for the Adaklu constituency, Kwame Agbodza This notwithstanding, Mr. Agbodza said the President’s directive constituted an offensive action against The Gambia.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, he said “what we are trying to do in Gambia is an offensive action. There is no war currently going on in The Gambia. We are going in there to start a war and I am saying that it amounts to a declaration of war and I think that the Commander-in-Chief needed to consult with the people’s representatives in Parliament before he could take that decision.”
He further insisted that no resolution by ECOWAS allowed Ghana “to commit troops to an offensive operation in another country.”
“When we invest the power in this country in the President to be the Commander and Chief, we expect him to exercise this power with the best of his intentions, not capriciously.”
In the MP’s view, the law requires the President Akufo-Add0 to exercise his power with the “greatest restraint”. He, however, said, “I haven’t seen anything that suggests that he is exercising his power with the greatest restraint… the constitution tells him to exercise his powers with the best of intentions and I don’t see those best intentions.”
No need for Parliamentary approval
The MP for Effutu, Alex Afenyo Markin, however, downplayed Mr. Agbodza’s concerns using the law as his basis.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Afenyo Markin explained that “under Article 75 of our constituency, where treaties are entered into and same is ratified by Parliament, that treaty becomes part of the international laws of Ghana.”
According to him, Ghana has already signed onto the ECOWAS protocol relating to the mechanism for conflict prevention, management, resolution, peacekeeping and security, and this protocol was subsequently ratified by the Parliament of Ghana on December 10.
Thus, the Effutu MP said President Akufo-Addo did not need another approval of Parliament to back the deployment of troops to The Gambia.
“The provisions under Article 21 of the protocol are clear on ceasefire monitoring groups which are composed of standby multi-purpose civilian and military, ready for immediate deployment,” he stated.
“The power given to the President to contribute troops to any mission as is happening today has already been given to him by the ratification of the said protocol on conflict prevention, management, resolution and peacekeeping,” Mr. Afenyo Markin concluded.