General News of Friday, 23 March 2018
The Parliament’s Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee has recommended a renegotiation of the “unfettered access” clause in the controversial Ghana-US military deal.
The lawmakers say the unimpeded access granted to the Aircraft, vehicles and vessels of the US Department of Defense (DoD) “appears” to undermine Ghana’s sovereignty.
This comes after fierce and spirited opposition by Minority members on the Committee who have labelled the agreement a complete mortgage of the country’s sovereignty.
The Military Defence Cooperation with the US has divided opinion, with sections of Ghanaians calling for it to be dismissed.
The US administration is expected to inject $20million into Ghana’s military in exchange for unimpeded access to some facilities in Ghana.
Despite the government and US Ambassador’s argument that Ghana will be the ultimate beneficiary under the deal, opposition appears to be growing.
The fate of the agreement will be known Friday when members of the House finally take a decision on the matter. At the committee level, the Majority and Minority members of the Legal Affairs Committee have reached a compromised position pending a discussion at the plenary.
But North Tongu Member of Parliament (MP) Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa has assured the ratification of the agreement will not be given an easy pass.
“We are going to do everything within our power to stop it…we will put up a good fight,” the opposition lawmaker told Evans Mensah on Joy FM’s Top Story Friday.
The former Deputy Education Minister dismissed any comparison of the agreement with previous ones signed by past National Democratic Congress (NDC) government in 1998 and 2015.
But Mr Ablakwa said any attempt to do that will be disingenuous because there are clear exemptions in the past agreements that are absent in the current one.
“In the past agreements, US cannot bring in chemical weapons and there is no radio spectrum free of charge,” he pointed out.
But Sekondi MP, Andrew Mensah has warned Ghana stands to lose if the Defence Cooperation Agreement is not ratified.
“Whether we sign this agreement or not there is a binding agreement in 1998 which gives them all these rights,” he said.
Joint Committee Report on GoG – US Gov Defence Cooperation Agreement by GhanaWeb Editorial on Scribd