Chairman of Parliament's Defence and Interior Committee has alleged that the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) started the current 2018 Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) in January 2016.
This claim by Seth Acheampong, on MultiTV/Joy FM’s Newsfile on Saturday – contradicts the NDC’s claim that it was unaware of the deal before it was presented to Parliament for ratification.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) legislator for Mpraeso constituency, said the NDC’s insistence that the agreement was sprung on them in Parliament after it was approved by Cabinet sits well with the President comments last Thursday that some opposition politicians rejecting the deal were acting hypocritically.
“On 4th of January 2016 [when the NDC was in power], we had a communication from the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Ghana and this was signed at the time by a deputy director [of the Ministry] and it says that…’it will be appreciated if the draft agreement would be considered and approved for onward transmission to the U.S. authorities.'”
Quoting from another document dated March 4, 2016, he read: "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration has submitted a self-explanatory letter…I am to request that you take the necessary action and submit feedback on the matter to the Minister of Defence for further action".
He said it hurts him that he was making public, documents that were supposed to be kept confidential, however, "in the exigencies, if some of these matters are not put out, it will not settle the dust."
Editor in Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper Malik Kweku Baako Jnr also sought to prove that ex-President John Mahama gave approval for Ghana to be used as base for a US military operation that will protect “US citizens and facilities in the sub-region.”
Hanna Tetteh signed deal
In the heat of the opposition that greeted the defence agreement, Defence Minister, Dominic Nitiwul, also said Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Hanna Tetteh, granted American soldiers access to Ghana’s facilities in 2015.
According to Mr Nitiwul, the US Army is not the only foreign military to have accessed Ghana’s facilities as several other foreign troops have had same opportunities.
The NDC has been spearheading opposition to the Ghana-US military cooperation agreement.
The opposition MPs say Ghana may be surrendering her sovereignty if aspects of the deal that has been ratified by a one-sided Parliament are not altered.
President Akufo-Addo has said that Ghana's foreign policy dictates that agreements of this nature with other nations are respected. He said the agreement was necessary for enhancing security in Ghana and within the West African subregion.