General News of Saturday, 24 March 2018
Former deputy Interior Minister James Agalga has stated that the United States of America (USA) can exploit clauses in the Ghana-US defence cooperation deal to ship nuclear weapons and chemical weapons to Ghana.
He was of the view that such destructive weapons could be used to attack the country or launched by United States forces from Ghana to attack other countries.
Ghana’s parliament approved the agreement on Friday. Speaker of Parliament, Professor Mike Oquaye said after the approval that the “house adopts the report from the joint committee on defence and interior.”
The approval of the agreement was done by only the majority side of parliament with the minority staging a walkout.
As part of the agreement, the US government will be spending $20 million in training and supplying equipment for the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), the US Embassy in Ghana has said.
It also indicated that Ghana has also agreed to bear the cost and take primary responsibility for securing US military facilities in the country.
According to the contract, Ghana has granted US contractors tax exemption and the US forces will also enjoy exclusive unimpeded access to certain key installations and facilities while being backed by diplomatic immunity.
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa North constituency explained that one of the reasons for the vehement opposition to the agreement by the Minority is the fact that certain clauses give the US unimpeded access to Ghana’s installations which could be to the detriment of the country.
According to him, Article 7 of the new agreement which is in relation to prepositioning and storage of equipment, supplies and material indicates that: “The United States Forces are hereby authorised to preposition and store defence equipment, supplies and material at agreed facilities and areas. Reposition material of United States Forces and the agreed facilities and areas or portions thereof designated for storage of such preposition material shall be for the exclusive use of United States Forces. United States Forces shall retain title to and control over the use of preposition material and shall have the right to remove such item from the territory of Ghana”.
He explained that “the material has not been defined in this agreement even though there is an interpretation article” and “the big danger is that what we have done [approval] could allow the Americans to bring into this country nuclear weapons, chemical weapons and you know the dangers associated with that…You know what is happening in Syria with chemical weapons”.
Mr Agalga who was a guest on Joy FM’s Newsfile on Saturday, 24 March 2018 was emphatic that the government cannot go into an agreement “that has terminology that you know next to nothing about and I interrogated the Generals who appeared before us and nobody has a clue, including the Honorable Minister, regarding the exact meaning of material, so, this is a fundamental difference between this and the previous agreement that we went into”.
He told host Samson Lardy Anyenini that Ghana can be used “as a launch pad to invade other countries or governments in this country could even be toppled [and] we have seen that happen elsewhere”.
“In all truth and sincerity, you know what happened in Cote d’Ivoire? The French military based in Abidjan overthrew a sitting government. So, today, things could be rosy but think about tomorrow.
“That is why the Minority thinks taking all these into consideration our sovereignty is at stake here,” he stated.