General News of Wednesday, 21 March 2018
Government says the Minority in Parliament is being hypocritical in its stance over Ghana-US Military cooperation agreement which has become a subject of controversy.
Responding to claims by the Minority that the agreement was new and would lead to the creation of a US military base in Ghana, the Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul said the erstwhile NDC government had signed two previous agreements with the US Military which gave them precisely the rights that the current agreement is offering.
Quoting portions of the agreements signed in 1998, and 2015, Mr Nitiwul said the erstwhile NDC governments had already committed the Ghana government to the agreement but failed to bring it to Parliament for ratification.
At a press conference in Accra, Wednesday, he said government in the spirit of transparency decided to bring the new agreement to Parliament but that does not mean the rights and obligations under this agreement are entirely new.
“The NDC went to sign this thing in the dark,” he stated, “but we said we will take it to Parliament before we will sign it.”
“We haven’t sold Ghana, they are the people who sold Ghana,” he said in an answer to a question.
The government has come under a barrage of criticism over a military agreement with the US that is believed to undermine Ghana’s sovereignty.
Under the agreement, the government will allow the US military unfettered access to some facilities close to the Kotoka International Airport.
The facilities will be a storehouse where military equipment will be stored for exclusive use by the US military.
There have been suggestions the new agreement will end up in the creation of a military base in Ghana, a suggestion government and its US counterparts have been quick to dismiss.
At the press conference, the Defence Minister said on assumption of office he was confronted with the two agreements “secretly” signed by the NDC and the notification that a third agreement will come into force in 2018.
He said for the new agreement to come into force, he gave two conditions one of which was to change the terms of the agreement and the other was to take it to Parliament for ratification.
He said he was also convinced that the request being made by the US government in the third agreement was nothing close to a military base.
According to him, the only thing different from the two agreements signed by the NDC government was the request for the exclusive use of the facilities close to the KIA as well as the primary parking area for joint use by the American and Ghanaian military men.