General News of Saturday, 24 March 2018
A one-sided parliament has ratified the controversial defence cooperation agreement between Ghana and the US.
The Minority side stormed out of the Law Chamber Friday evening, leaving the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) MPs to rubberstamp the pact late in the night before Parliament rose for recess.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) MPs staged the walk after the caucus leader, Haruna Iddrisu made his side’s reservations over the agreement known on the floor.
The agreement was brought before the House for consideration and ratification after the joint-committee on Defence and Interior, Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs of Parliament gave it a greenlight.
This is despite massive public protest against the deal which many including the largest opposition described as “dangerous” and a sale of Ghana’s sovereignty.
The Government of Ghana, according to a leaked document, has approved the agreement with the US to set up a military base in Ghana and also allow unrestricted access to a host of facilities and wide-ranging tax exemptions to the United States Military—a claim the government of Ghana and the US denied.
Pressure group, Economic Freedom Fighters today, Friday March 23 clashed with the Police at the premises of Ghana’s Parliament in a bid to push for the withdrawal of the agreement.
But according to the Committee, after thorough examination of the agreement it found that “its ratification would help provide a mutually beneficial arrangement for cooperation and readiness to combat emerging global security threats whilst also enhancing the already existing relationship between the two countries in the area of security cooperation.”
“The Committee therefore recommends to the House to adopt this report and ratify by resolution, the agreement between the government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Ghana on Defence Cooperation, the Status of United States Forces and Access to and Use of Agreed Facilities and Areas in the Republic of Ghana in accordance with Article 75 (2) of the 1992 Constitution and Standing Orders of the House,” the committee’s report read in part.